North and South America
As the temperatures around the world began to cool down, skaters look forward to warming up in the one place that refuses to participate in winter, sunny South Florida! Skaters start out the warm sunshine and beautiful scenery on Thursday, January 31st. Some skaters came from as far away as Austria to enjoy the 4th annual Skater Migration. On Thursday night, John took the early arrivals on a short skate along the South Beach broadwalk to South Pointe pier, where skaters from around the world enjoyed the Miami skyline at night. The night ended at Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company, where skaters had time to make new friends while they danced the night away and impressed the others inside the restaurant.
Friday started bright and early to get skaters registered for the weekend, as well as spending time catching up with friends from both near and far. Once Myles Cotter Sparrow showed up with the Rollerblade® van, it was time to get the weekend kicked off the way only Rollerblade® could. Doris and Naomi led the massive group on an afternoon skate through some of South Beach's more secluded and beautiful residential areas. At one point, a man in a cherry picker took pictures of the group for us, because where else but Miami can you find the world's largest selfie stick?
After the amazing skate, it was time to get more skaters registered and ready for the skate that most people were most eager for, our First Friday Skate to Wynwood. By this point, our group had grown to over 200 skaters, who all came for the same thing, escaping Winter and having fun! Doris and Naomi led everyone through the Venetian causeway, sharing the gorgeous views of the bay and evening skyline with everyone who came along. Speed skaters even got a chance to sprint while all the skaters met at the park for a water break. When we arrived in Wynwood however, that's when everyone really cut loose. Skaters like Sonic from New York and Parker from Atlanta wowed the crowd with their dancing and flips...all while still on skates! They weren't the only ones though, everyone who came danced and had a great time in Wynwood. After a enjoying ourselves and the public art murals all over Wynwood, Doris and Naomi lead all the skaters back to the Dorchester hotel to get a good night's rest before Saturday's super skate to Hollywood beach.
Saturday morning weather was fantastic, Doris and Naomi led 200 skaters to Hollywood Beach about 15 miles north and crossing through nine different cities! As the skaters skated onto the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, they were greeted by cheers and applause from the beach goers, all while skating inches away from one of the top beaches on the world. The group stopped for lunch and socializing at Margaritaville, and took photos in front of the band shell to remember the trip. Once lunch was over, it was back to South Beach, another 15 miles south along A1A, with some of the smoothest pavement we covered all weekend.
The Rollerblade® van certainly attracted a lot of attention, and let skaters try on different styles of skates throughout the weekend. Trish Alexander, Greg Tinney, and Arnav "Sonic" Shah led slalom and skills classes by the beach until it was time to go for out for a night on the town. Once the skaters got all cleaned up, it was time for dinner at any one of a few different locations, and then it was time to party like you can only do in South Beach! Skaters showed up all night at the world famous Clevelander Hotel to drink, dance, and enjoy each other's company into the early hours of the morning!
Sunday morning started with a calming beach yoga practice led by Kris Fondran, which prepared everyone for our final skate of the weekend. The sun was shining and the skaters were excited. This skate, led by Naomi and Doris, began by going over the Venetian causeway with beautiful views of the city and water. Soon after the causeway, the group split; one group heading back to the hotel due to early flights led by John and the other group continuing on to Normandy Isle, a residential area with zero traffic and pristine asphalt to skate on. When everyone got back to the hotel, it was time for us to say our goodbyes. Everyone was sad to go, but were so thankful to our organizers and volunteers.
We especially want to thank the following for all their help with planning, route scouting, logistics, our website, shirts, and making sure everyone had an amazing and safe time; Doris Casabona, Naomi Weinberg, Daniela Coletti, John Rodriguez, Julio Prado, Milena Mikic, Jose Bordas, Jessica Sanz, Myles Cotter Sparrow, Kris Fondran, Trish Alexander, Arnav "Sonic" Shah, Greg Tinney, and Eddy, Jose and Bernadette from the local South Beach NSP. With the dedication and love this group shares for skating, the Skater Migration will be continuing for many more years.
Photos: Ernesto Rivero
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