With the Bee Gees blaring over the speakers, the disco ball turning and roller skaters grooving, fun was had by all at the first of what will hopefully be many roller skating events in Penticton.
“With COVID, not much is going on. Having a night event is nice. It gets the family out and gets adults out,” said Lindsey Algure, a member of the South Okanagan Roller Derby Association who helped organize the roller skating night at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre Saturday.
The group converted the 10,000 square foot ballroom into a roller skating rink, added lasers, disco ball and voila – a roller skating experience like the 1980s.
With 50 per cent capacity restrictions, the event sold out in a day, but fear not roller skaters – there are plans to host other nights in the future, they said.
About 40 to 50 people came out for the family portion of the evening and at least 60 skated for the adult portion of the evening, said Algure.
The last known roller skating rink in Penticton was at Okanagan Amusement in the 1980s. (Okanagan Amusement was located off Highway 97 on the hill past Skaha Hills and Skaha Meadows golf course. It is now an RV park but once was a main tourist attraction with go-carts, mini golf, arcade, batting cage and yes, skating rink.)
The original owners of Okanagan Amusement were expected to join the roller skating night Saturday, said lead organizer Kim Wall, who owns LockWorks Inc. and sponsored the night.
Could roller skating be making a comeback?
By the overwhelming response they got, the South Okanagan Roller Derby Association says definitely.
“We are so excited. We couldn’t believe the response we got to this,” said Algure.
If you missed this skate night, don’t worry.
Organizers see more pop up rollerskating nights in the future, even as early as February, said Wall.
So if you think your have some roller skates or rollerblades in storage, now is the time to start looking for them!
“I have big hopes of doing skate nights at the new outdoor skate rink throughout the year as well,” she said.