Sikeston teens set to open skate park

Thursday, February 14, 2002

SIKESTON, Mo. -- After years of commuting to Memphis and St. Louis, Sikeston area youths and their parents will finally have the convenience of a skate park.

Dirty Bearings, scheduled to open this week, was founded by Sikeston High School students Devin Mills, 16, and Jordy Parker, 15. It's believed to be the only skate park in the history of Sikeston.

"We never had a place to skate," Mills said. "We kept getting kicked out of all the places we tried to skate. The closest place we could go was Memphis or St. Louis."

Mike Mills, Mills' father, said the boys have worked hard to make the skate park happen.

Mills and Parker, with the help of friends, started their project in December but have been designing and planning longer, Mills' father said.

The boys found the building they wanted to rent around Jan. 1. With the financial help of their parents, they were ready to begin their creation.

"The kids went looking for buildings," Mills said. "They found one owned by Larry DeWitt and he was more than willing to clear out the area."

Mills, who has been skateboarding for three years, said he expects a big turnout at the opening.

Other activities

"Even if people don't skate, I think it will get them started," he said. "We're also having video games and a concession stand."

Aside from skateboards, rollerblades and bicycles are also welcome, he said.

Safety is definitely a concern for Dirty Bearings, Mills said. Skaters 18 and older are required to sign a waiver, and those under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver for them before they can skate. Everyone must wear helmets. In addition to skating, Dirty Bearings, which was named by one of Mills' and Parker's friends, will also offer merchandise, such as T-shirts and skate trucks, wheels and boards.

Mills said they would also plan on bringing in professionals to perform skating shows and local bands to perform concerts on the weekends.

Above all, he said, it will be a great place for kids to hang out,.

Because Dirty Bearings is just opening, Mills is unsure about the hours of operation. He said, right now, it looks as though it will be open Sundays from 1 to 9 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 4 to 11 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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