Everyone knew Sunday was Fathers Day.
Many dont know about a holiday taking place Friday -- the 10th annual Go Skateboarding Day.
It all started in skateboardings unofficial capital, Southern California, as an excuse for skateboarders to make skateboarding their top priority, according to goskateboardingday.org.
Some Macon area skaters plan on doing just that.
Its a worldwide holiday to raise awareness of the skateboarding scene, said Matthew Buffalo Morgan, of Macon.
He said they want to highlight the need for a public skateboard park here.
Morgan is organizing a group of skaters who are planning to meet downtown in the alley next to Roasted Cafe & Lounge on Second Street at 4 p.m.
Morgan, 27, said theyre going to play a game of S-K-A-T-E in the alley, which is similar to the game of H-O-R-S-E in basketball, but instead of competitors having to duplicate shots, theyll have to copy skate tricks.
After the game, the group of skaters, expected to number about 30, will make their way to Washington Park where theyll meet up with more skaters, including Jonathan Kennedy, owner of Clockwork Skate Shop in Macon Mall.
Kennedy is planning a free barbecue for all the skaters in the park. After that, the skaters plan to skate to Central City Skate Park in Central City Park -- if they have the citys blessing.
Kennedy, who has staged Go Skateboarding Day events here in the past, said hes working with the city this year to get the proper permits.
He tried it without permits about three years ago, and it didnt go too well.
Police showed up at Poplar and Second (streets). We had about 70 kids and they wouldnt let anyone skate, he recalled. They were pretty gnarly about that.
The skaters continued to observe Go Skateboarding Day. We just went underground, Kennedy said.
This year he wants to do it right because the stakes are too high. They want a public skate park in Macon, and breaking the rules will not help that cause.
We need one, Kennedy said.
Bibb considering public skate park
The $5 it takes to skate at the privately owned Central City Skate Park can be costly on a skaters budget.
Skaters are poor, for the most part, Kennedy said. It gets expensive. Public is nice. You can go there anytime for free.
Central City Skate Park is only open for three hours, four days a week. When its closed, skaters have to find places where theyre not always welcome.
You can sometimes skate for an hour or two downtown, or you can get kicked out in a minute, said Joshua Marks, 32. Its hit or miss. They dont welcome it.
Marks and other Middle Georgia skaters should be stoked to know that Joplin, Mo.-based American Ramp Company -- one of the largest skate park builders in the country -- will be in Macon in the coming weeks for a planning session on building a skate park here.
Its something we should have, said Dale Doc Dougherty, director of Bibb Countys Parks and Recreation Department. We should have done it years ago, but its better late than never.
Fortunately for skateboarders, as the county spends the more than $39 million in SPLOST funds making major upgrades to parks, building a skate park now would be perfect timing, Dougherty said.
Its a long-term great thing for the community, he said. Skaters are some good people who need a place to go ... and not jump on monuments.
Dougherty said hes familiar with the skaters plans for Fridays Go Skateboarding Day. His staff is assisting them with permitting. He also said its important that the skaters have a seat at the table when the park is being planned.
The park would be an economic driver for the county, Dougherty said. People would come from throughout the Middle Georgia community and will stop and eat, fill up with gas, he said.
Marks agrees. Plenty of skaters, not just (from) Macon, but surrounding counties (would come), he said. If theres a place thats cool, theyre going to come to it.
Lori Carr, owner of Central City Skate Park, said she wouldnt see a public skate park as competition.
I would be blessed if the city would open a free park for these kids so I can retire, she said. Carr has run the park for 14 years.
It was profitable in the first five or six years, she said.
The park doesnt turn a profit anymore and Carr said its now like volunteer work for her. I dont make a dime. ... it pays its own bills, she said.
Its not all about the money, Carr said. Its about the kids in your community and giving them a place to go to play basketball, or play football, or baseball or skating.
Im not willing to just shut it down without somewhere else for them to go, Carr said.
To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.