PHOTOS: Roller Revival Festival Celebrates 40 Years of Roller Skating in S.F.

Aimee "White Chocolate" Bruckner shows off her moves at the Roller Revival Music Festival on July 13, 2019. (Audrey Garces/KQED)

Forty years ago, the Golden Gate Park Skate Patrol halted a roller skating ban in the park. Roller skaters celebrated the anniversary on Saturday true to form — by rolling, spinning and dancing to music at a paved lot in Hunters Point.

“I am the godfather of skating here in San Francisco,” said David G. Miles Junior, who organized the Roller Revival Festival and runs the Church of 8 Wheels.

He started skating at Golden Gate Park back in 1979, when he first came to San Francisco. By that point, the city had banned skating in several areas of the park over safety concerns.

David G. Miles Jr. celebrates the forty year anniversary of rollerskating in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on July 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Audrey Garces/KQED)
David G. Miles Jr. gives a beginner roller skater, what he dubbed, "the 45-second lesson" on July 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Audrey Garces/KQED)

“So me and my friends got together and joined the Skate Patrol, which was the group that was told that if we could manage the people in the areas, then they wouldn't ban skating,” he said.

And, it worked.

Cheryl Dunn, a volunteer with Church of 8 Wheels, helps Harry Williams and his children rent roller skates on July 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Audrey Garces/KQED)
Cheryl Dunn, from the Church of 8 Wheels, doesn't need to rent her skates — she laces up her own pair on July 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Harry Williams teaches his children how to roller skate on July 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Audrey Garces/KQED)

“And here it is, like 2019. Some of the original skaters are still here with me," said Colleen Jones, who started skating 25 years ago in Golden Gate Park. "Oh I love to spin."

Colleen Jones shows a new learner the basics of rollerskating on July 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Audrey Garces/KQED)

Roller skaters with decades of experience, like Jones, helped the beginners find their footing.

But, a word for the wise: it's not as easy as it looks, said KQED’s Sonja Hutson, who laced up a pair of skates outdoors for the first time.

Harry Williams also taught his kids how to roller skate, but his daughter's skate flew off when she took her first tumble of the day.

"We have a saying for that," said Aimee Bruckner, a roller skating instructor. "'Skate until your wheels fall of.'"

Harry Williams helps his daughter put her skate back on after a fall on July 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Audrey Garces/KQED)
Satise Dizon shows off her skills and zooms by other roller skaters on July 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Audrey Garces/KQED)

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