Skatepark of Tampa has been immortalized in video games, patronized by rap stars, and served as inspiration for a Cigar City beer and a limited-edition line of Nike sneakers, but in the end, the park is probably best known for Tampa Pro.
Some of the most talented skaters on earth and their fans will descend on Tampa this weekend for the 20th annual tournament at the park located at 4215 E. Columbus Drive.
Considered one of the premiere events in the sport, Tampa Pro draws top talent to compete for the $75,000 purse, as well as celebrity spectators such as Lil’ Wayne in recent years.
Doors open at 9 a.m. each day and competition begins at noon. Admission to the park is $10 Friday, $15 Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to the competition, the event is surrounded by an array of concerts and nightlife events.
Here’s a schedule of some of this year’s highlights:
♦ Welcome to Tampa Pro Party and Art Show, 8 p.m., The Bricks - An exhibition featuring the work of 21 Florida artists reflecting on nostalgic moments in skateboarding.
♦ SPoT 21-Year Anniversary Party, 8 p.m., Orpheum - Larger-than-life rapper/chef/hilarious Twitter personality Action Bronson headlines the annual concert, with opening performances by Riff Raff and B.I.C.
♦ Best Trick Contest, to be decided, Skatepark of Tampa - Skaters pull out the best trick in their arsenal on the center rail/ledge obstacle, immediately following the day’s qualifying street competition, which begins at noon.
♦ S.K.A.T.E With the Pros, 1 to 4 p.m. - Some of the biggest names in skating play a game of S.K.A.T.E., which is similar to the game H.O.R.S.E. played on the basketball court.
♦ Moat Race, approximately 2 p.m., Skatepark of Tampa - Skatepark of Tampa’s most unique tradition is this 10-person race through the “moat,” a dirty, murky-water-filled, drainage ditch that runs along Columbus Drive. Spectators pelt the runners with eggs and flour for added fun.
♦ Street Finals, approximately 3 p.m., Skatepark of Tampa - The 12 surviving skaters from the qualifying rounds compete for the top prize with three, one-minute runs each through the main course.