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Skateboarders take ‘pretty awesome’ ride through downtown L.A.

June 21, 2011 |  4:08 pm

Ln5xqync Hundreds of skateboarders took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles in celebration of "Go Skateboarding Day" on Monday, embarking on a five-mile skate through the city.

The group of skaters -– mostly teenage males -– gathered at Hollenbeck Park, just east of downtown and ended at Lafayette Park.

"This is pretty awesome," said Chris Rodriguez, 15, of Boyle Heights while waiting for the ride to start.

PHOTOS: Wild in the Streets skateboard ride in L.A.

The roads were not closed for the event, said a spokeswoman for Emerica, a skating shoe manufacturer sponsoring the event.

LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said about 300 people were participating in the "Wild in the Streets" event. Organizers put the count at closer to 1,000.

He said a few people had been cited for traffic citations as they moved on surface streets, but the group was "well behaved."

The group was spending time at Lafayette Park and it was doubtful with the high temperatures Tuesday afternoon that the skateboarders would continue on to Venice, which was supposed to be their final destination, Smith said.

"Anytime someone calls an event 'Wild in the Streets,' it's something we want to pay attention to," Smith said. "Right now they are laying down in the heat or goofing around in the skate park. There's been no trouble. They've been very well-behaved so far."

The annual event has taken place in New York, Vancouver and Madrid. This is the first time it has come to Los Angeles.

The event is intended to benefit Boards for Bros, a nonprofit group that collects and refurbishes skateboards to donate to children who cannot afford them.

It donated 130 refurbished skateboards to the Salesian Boys and Girls Clubs of Los Angeles this week.


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Photo: Skateboarders take over a portion of 6th Street on International "Go Skateboarding Day" in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times