The northwest suburb of Elk Grove Village is opening its first outdoor skate park.
Six years of planning and $500,000 in construction costs will culminate with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Audubon Outdoor Skate Park on Saturday at 10 a.m.
“We’re really confident that this is going to be not just a local park, but it’s going to be regional once the word gets out that it’s just so nice and available,” said Diane Malinowski, public relations manager for the park district.
The ribbon cutting will include refreshments and a live set by Kevin Sanabrais, aka Dj K.Sity, who shares a special connection to the park district and the new skate park.
Sanabrais spent years working at the park district’s IT department before professionally pursuing his musical passion. He also runs a program in several northern suburbs teaching aspiring DJs of all ages.
“I grew up in this neighborhood… and I remember when the first skate park opened and it was such a blessing to have it,” Sanabrais said.
“I remember going to the Village Board and being like, ‘Yeah, we need this skate park,’ and fighting for it at a time when skating just wasn’t quite as accepted as it is today,” he said.
The indoor Audubon Skate Park opened in 2000, but the outdoor park is a welcome addition for a skating community that’s been requesting it since 2013.
Irene Faciano, youth manager at the Elk Grove Park District, said the park has already drawn huge crowds every day. She hopes that the crowds will stay at the park and move indoors as the weather shifts.
“Since we’ve been open the last few weeks, there’s been at least 30, 50, 60 kids here every day,” Faciano said. “From 3-year-olds to 50-year-olds out here skating.”
Audubon Park Manager Martin Castro has been skating for too long to remember.
The new park gives him an opportunity to watch more kids get hooked by the sport and join the Elk Grove skating community.
“Once you step on your board, it’s like a little magic carpet ride,” said Castro. “You skate and create. There’s no rules, like in baseball. You just kinda jump on your board and learn skate tricks or get inspired by the people around you.”
Audubon Skate Park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The outdoor park is free to the public, and the indoor park costs $4 to use.
For more information on the park programs, including weekly skate lessons and a summer skate camp, visit their website.