0221_rollerskating_84878.jpg

Photo by Franny Lawrence Walker/ Roller skating has experienced a revival nationwide in recent years. In Kanawha County, female roller derby events have seen success. Madison welcomes back roller skating for the public in April.

MADISON - The City of Madison is bringing roller skating back to the Madison Civic Center and the public support has been strong for the initiative.

Steve Byus, the city's emergency management coordinator, said deputy director Brandy Conrad presented the idea.

"We were brainstorming and looking for new events and ways to help pay for the Madison Civic Center and she mentioned that as a possibility and we just ran with it," he said. "The community response has been really positive and the feedback from social media has been good."

Roller skating at the civic center was at peek popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, but surprisingly to organizers there has been a response from adults as well as local youth.

"We were really pleased to see adults getting excited about it, too," he said.

Byus said that after navigating the requirements to meet the demands of the city's insurance carrier, plans began to take shape.

Roller blades will be allowed, but hover boards will not, which is a stipulation related to insurance. Skaters must bring their own skates.

"If the interest is there and it shows that we can afford to buy skates, we will, but out of the gate we will not be offering them," he said. "We hope people are patient and work with us out of the gate because this is all new and we're learning as we go. I don't think anyone here has ran a skating event before."

Over the last five years there has been a nationwide revival of roller skating. Kanawha County has seen success with it and female roller derby teams have begun to form with positive attendance numbers.

Beginning in April, every Thursday from 5-7 p.m. the Madison Civic Center will be open to roller skaters. Admission is $5 and concessions will be sold and a variety of music will be played.

"I'm looking for a good turnout," Byus said. "I think it's a great thing for the community and all ages can enjoy it."

Madison City Hall can be reached at 304-369-2762.

Tags