Popping fireworks mixed with loud chords of punk rock to provide an all-American soundtrack for families hosting Fourth of July cookouts at FDR Park in South Philly Wednesday.
The music — and many of the fireworks — were coming from FDR’s skatepark, a fiercely “locals only” spot tucked under I-95.
Largely unregulated, the FDR skatepark been built up over the years by skateboarders themselves, and they run a relatively tight ship.
On Independence Day, riders dropped in the steep graffiti-covered vert ramps, showing off their skills for spectators, fellow shredders, and those enjoying the free beer and band playing throughout the day.
Skateboarders dodged fireworks, sparklers and color bombs set off by audience members as they skated through the park. Some even wore ear plugs in preparation for the day’s celebration.
Other skaters carried their own fireworks and shot them at pals as they rode the ramps.
The celebration spread to the skate park’s parking lot, where families and children could be seen jamming to the tunes, lighting sparklers and enjoying the atmosphere.
The skatepark was first built by the city in 1994. Shortly thereafter, skateboarders began building onto the park — adding concrete bowls and vert pipes to the mix of equipment.
That tradition has continued – regulars still add new ramps often — and the park has become famous around the country.
The graffiti that decorates the pipes there changes nearly ever week, but one theme remains constant: “Locals only.”