A massive crowd gathered at Sammamish Commons on Wednesday to watch kids perform scooter tricks as they rode across the skate park.
The Sammamish Scooter Competition, held on July 28, saw 85 participants show their skills as over 370 spectators stood by to watch and cheer. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and anticipation.
“It’s really energetic, it’s just festive, cheerful, and fun,” said Tamara Gunther, 43, who was waiting to watch her son compete.
The competition, sponsored by Redmond-based Pro Scooter Shop, was set to coincide with Sammamish’s regular Wednesday farmer’s market. Scooter-riders took advantage by buying hot food and cooling down with cold refreshments after competing.
After the scooter-riders signed up for their competition, spectators turned their attention to the first kids out of the gate. The competition was split into four skill levels. The beginners took the stage in pairs. At higher skill levels — intermediate, advanced, and open — scooter-riders performed individually.
Jake Hershey, the commentator for the competition, said that twice as many scooter-riders participated than they had expected. Even though the competition ran more than an hour past the scheduled end time, most people stayed until the very end.
Though there were prizes and bragging rights up for grabs, most competitors just came to have a good time.
Cobin Cowan, 11, who won the beginners division, said, “I just came to have fun.”
Although different skill levels were shown throughout the competition, it was clear that all scooter-riders had a love for the sport. Beck Parker, an 8-year-old competing at the intermediate level, said that he loved skating because it is fun to practice, while his brother Alec Parker, 10, said that he liked learning new tricks.
The night ended with the open division scooter-riders. The cheering increased with the level of complexity in their tricks. The crowd applauded for backflips while taking pictures, talking, and encouraging the competitors to do even harder stunts.
Finally, the winners were announced — Cobin Cowan for the beginner level, Josiah Juntunen for the intermediate level, Evan MacKinnon for the advanced level, and Isaac Hofer for the open level.
As the last scooter-rider came off the park just before 9:30 p.m., the crowds were no longer illuminated by the park lights, and headed into the dark of night. The scrapes and skids on the skate park were all that remained after a night of excitement in Sammamish.