Rolling into STEREO ‘24: Unveiling the Skate Party of the Season!

We sat down with Morgan Rigaud, the founder of Skate Downtown Cincy, your hosts for the STEREO ‘24 skate party, to get the scoop on what’s happening at the skating rink on June 1st.

  • What can people expect at the DJ Festival this year?

    We’re hosting a day-long skate party with top-tier DJs at the Sawyer Point Riverfront Rink, from 10 am to 10 pm. Throughout the day, we’ll be highlighting local skate artists and dance crews. Admission is free and skate rentals are free with an ID. There will be sessions for skaters of all levels to get in on the action. If you’re holding onto the rail and looking to practice your balance and improve your range of motion, we will offer a special Yoga for Skaters class at 10 am that morning.  If you’re an intermediate skater looking to add some spins and jumps to your repertoire, we’ll be offering workshops on Cleveland shuffle and Cleveland freestyle, taught by OGs coming from Cleveland as part of our headlining session that evening.
  • The DJ Festival presents a fantastic platform to spotlight the Sawyer Point Riverfront Rink revitalization project. How did you get involved with it? 

    I kept meeting new folks at the rink when I went skating there. It all started with an informal group chat. Then, we started announcing “speaker Saturdays” online, and eventually, we partnered with the Cincinnati Parks Foundation to host DJed skate sessions. It grew organically. Every time I went roller skating at the rink, I’d meet strangers who shared the same passion, and eventually, we all started skating together.
    We all agreed that the rink itself needed some TLC. The current facility is in dire need of repairs and the key priority is smoothing out and leveling up the skating surface. Concrete is fine for an outdoor skating rink, but it’s crucial that it’s level and free of cracks. In the process of collecting feedback on the rink from skaters, we realized that the rink is not only an essential third place, but investing in the rink is an opportunity to grow the number of festivals and large-scale community events that we host on the riverfront.  That’s why we were thrilled to partner with DJ Vader’s music festival.
  • Any advice for someone looking to take up roller skating?
    Roller skating is for everyone, regardless of age. We’ve got skaters ranging from 2 to 81 at the rink. We’re a welcoming bunch! Whenever you’re at the rink, there’s always someone ready to teach you new moves, tricks, and tips if you’re keen to learn. I encourage you to come give it a try, and when you do – bend your knees!
  • How can folks get involved with Skate Downtown Cincy?
    We’d love more folks to come to our skate sessions to take in the full experience. You can hop onto our website, sign up, and volunteer at our events. We’re constantly hosting a variety of activities – from kids’ skates at OTR CRC to events at the Riverfront. We’re always on the lookout for partners and collaborators, too. DJ Festival is a great opportunity to check us out, see what skating is all about and enjoy the full day of moving to the music.
  • How did you first get into roller skating?
    It all started with my grandfather. He used to coach ice hockey for the Cleveland Americans, and during the off-season, he’d hit the roller rinks to cross-train. I grew up on skates. Eventually, it became second nature to me. My very first job was at a fun center with a roller rink, where I threw birthday parties for kids and skated in those giant furry character costumes.
  • What’s your go-to spot for skating?
    Definitely the Riverfront Rink at Sawyer Point. It’s got stunning views, surrounded by mature trees – there’s just nothing quite like it. When I’m skating indoors, I’m at the Over-the-Rhine Community Center Rink. It’s nestled in between the historic architecture of OTR neighborhood and conveniently close to Findlay Market, where I do my shopping after I go skate.
DJ Festival at the Sawyer Point, June 1