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Great Skate Offers Free Admission October 17 in Honor of National Roller Skating Month

Written by Niki D'Andrea Category: Culture Issue: October 2015
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Great Skatephotos by Blake Bonillas

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates,” inspirational-book author H. Jackson Brown Jr. wrote. “There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backward or sideways.”

Unlike the proverbial rollin' mollusk, you can maintain forward motion on the rink with a little practice. Even if you haven't been anywhere near a pair of skates since the movie “Xanadu” was in theaters, you can still have fun – for free – on Great Skate's 12,900 square-foot skating floor, as the Glendale institution offers a free skate session on Saturday, October 17, in celebration of National Roller Skating Month.

Free admission lasts from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. (skate rentals cost $3.50-$4). That's 150 minutes – plenty of time to practice footwork, apex jumps, and snow plow stops (or you know, just practice balancing against the wall and slowly rolling forward). The atmosphere at Great Skate is all-ages and family-friendly, and accommodating to all skater skill levels.

Great Skate skatersPhoenicians who may have visited the venerable rink in the 1980s and 1990s will find it clean and well-maintained, and much like they remember – the arcade games, vending machines, snack cafe, bathrooms and even lockers are all still where they've always been, but now there are more games and the music is different. It's today's Top 40, versus Madonna hits and “Electric Avenue.” There are exceptions on theme nights (check the Great Skate schedule for those), which include a “Christian Gospel Sundays” session and “Throwback Thursday” sessions featuring hits from the '80s and '90s. Sundays also feature The Toe Stoppas, a group of skaters with killer skills showing off some sweet moves (check out a video here.)

Visit Great Skate's Facebook page for more information, and more ways to roll during National Roller Skating Month.