Roller skates (photographer unknown)

Penticton’s first pop up roller skating night this weekend

Music, disco ball and bringing back the best of the 80s at the PTCC Saturday, Jan. 22

Get those roller skates out of storage and channel your 1980s self because a fun night is rolling into town this weekend.

The South Okanagan Roller Derby Association and Penticton’s LockWorks Inc. are bringing the first pop up rollerskating night to the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre Saturday, Jan. 22.

They will have 10,000 square feet of skate space with music pumping, disco lights and lasers for a true rollerskating experience.

The family portion of the night is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. From 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. they switch to 19 years and older. All proceeds from the night will go Penticton’s Roller Derby League.

“As far as I know, there has not been a roller rink experience in Penticton since the rink at the former Okanagan Amusements shut down in the mid 80s,” said Kim Wall who is one of the volunteer organizers.

Could roller skating be making a come back?

The response to this event has been unbelievable in the best of ways, said Wall.

People have been reminiscing a lot on social media about good times had at roller rinks, and how much people miss them, she said. In the 80s, roller rinks were the place to be as were rollerskating birthday parties.

Because the night requires registration and health orders require only 50 per cent capacity, the skating night is mostly full. But organizers see more pop up rollerskating nights in the future, even as early as February, said Wall.

“I have big hopes of doing skate nights at the new outdoor skate rink throughout the year as well,” she said.

Rollerskating and how much fun it can be is how the South Okanagan Roller Derby Association got started. After COVID stopped things, they are back up and running practices, and Learn to Skate programs.

“We are hopeful for a bouting season, and will know more in March when we transfer to our bouting venue (Penticton Curling Club). Currently we do not have any opponents in the Okanagan as COVID has delayed Kelowna and Armstrong teams from returning to play,” said Wall.

For more information about the roller skating night email pentictonrollerskate@gmail.com. Check out the Facebook invitation here.

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