Even though the official competitions at Rock The Rails were cancelled due to the flooding of the skate bowls, there were still plenty of boarders, BMX'ers and scooter riders putting on a show.
It was truly unfortunate timing but Mother Nature has never been known to ask permission for anything she's done. So true to form, just after 4pm on Thursday August 23rd, she brought a surprise into town in the form of a particularly severe storm that dumped pea sized hail and a large amount of rain in a very short amount of time on the City of Leduc.
This was also the night that the much anticipated Rock The Rails event was due to take place at the Leduc Skate Park. Originally slated to begin at 5pm, it was touch and go as to whether RTR would even happen this year. Thankfully, with quick thinking and quick actions on behalf of all the volunteers, the stage, and most of the other planned events were able to continue on into the evening hours with just a bit of a late start.
Sadly, the one casualty of the storm were the skateboard, BMX, and scooter competitions which had to be canceled due to the fact that the skate bowls were flooded with storm water.
The battle of the bands got underway a little after seven pm, emceed by Ryan G. from Edmonton's Sonic radio station. The live music kicked off with a local band called You, But Smiling, who incorporated unique instruments rarely seen in rock bands such as a trumpet and xylophone. The music was almost non-stop with one band piling onstage as the last one was leaving, so the crowd around the stage was never left for long waiting to hear some rockin' tunes.
In total, there were eight bands competing for some excellent prizes, and they all put up a good fight on stage, but at the end of the night three bands rose above the rest to come out on top. Third place and a City of Leduc Prize Pack valued at $375.00 went to Yikes!, second place and a photo shoot by Tricia Moskal Photography valued at $1000.00 went to Last Chance Hollywood, and for the second year in a row, Smile For The Bullet took the top prize of $2000.00 of recording time at Edmontone Studios.
While the music was pounding there were several other things going on around the field to keep everyone entertained. The Mac's Froster-Mobile was on hand giving out free Frosters to the crowd, the Leduc RCMP detachment had their retro cruiser parked on the field for interested parties to sit in and check out, the Boys and Girls Club were on hand painting faces, a huge inflatable obstacle course attracted people of all ages to try their luck, and graphic artist A.J. Louden ran spray paint mini-sessions for all ages and created wild works of art on huge canvases.
Also, despite the fact that the competitions had to be cancelled there were still a lot of hard core skate park enthusiasts showing off their moves once the bowls had dried out a bit.
If the weather had cooperated, the City expected to see about 2500 people flood into the skate park, but with the storm forcing a late start a little less than 1000 people attended the popular event this year. In spite of the challenges it was still an extremely well run event, and everyone who braved the aftermath of the storm was treated to a very fun evening.