The sights and sounds of this year’s festival, Sunday at East Decatur Station, promises to make it bigger and better than its seven previous incarnations, organizers said.
“There’s really something for everyone,” said SkaterAid co-founder Patrice Eastham.
All proceeds go to the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children. The nonprofit, via its Butterfly Fund, helps families pay the bills while their children are being treated for pediatric brain cancer.
Members of the skater sub- culture are not the only ones who will populate the festival grounds.
“We believe [SkaterAid] is unique because it appeals to such a wide variety of audiences,” said Eastham. “You have the skateboarding community, which centers on mostly guys in their early teens through early 20s, — some girls too, which is always great to see — and young music fans and aficionados of new music.”
The event also hosts its fair share of artists, from young children to nationally recognized names and patrons drawn to the SkaterAid art auction. More than 100 skateboard decks are up for bidding this year.
Adding to the atmosphere there will be the musical stylings of four live bands, children’s activities and food and drink offerings.
But, the highlight of SkaterAid is, of course, the skateboarding.
Spectators get the opportunity to take in the aerial acrobatics and demonstration of skill by a bevy of board-bound athletes. Two such shows are on tap for the afternoon.
The first SkaterAid was held in 2005 to celebrate the memory of Decatur teen Ian Wochatz, an avid skateboarder who succumbed to brain cancer two months prior.
“My friends and I felt a strong need to do something to help,” Eastham said.
To that end, she reached out to friends and neighbors Laura Deming and Corinne Chaves. The trio later came up with the idea of a neighborhood festival centering on teens and skateboarding to support families dealing with pediatric cancer.
“One of the things I love about SkaterAid is the astonishing variety of people who love the event and come every year,” said Eastham. “Where else can you see the mayor rubbing elbows with a skateboarder? Nationally-recognized artists dancing to music performed by a middle-school garage band? Kids with cancer getting lessons in skateboarding technique? There’s an energy around SkaterAid that is truly like nothing else. You have to be in it to believe it.”
If you go
When: Sunday, from 2 to 7 p.m.
Where: East Decatur Station, 109 New St. in Decatur