Lawton, Ok_An idea that was hatched on June 2, 2013 will come to life in the form of something called the "Project X Unity Event."
It is a part-skate competition, part-music festival that will happen Saturday, August 17 in Lawton. "We are Lawton," a local organization is behind the event. They are looking to promote unity in the community and to help raise money for a new skate park that the City wants to build in Elmer Thomas Park.
Event co-founder Jamar Lockhart said skateboarding has the possibility to span all cultures in our community. He knew the city was already in the early stages of planning a new park, so they decided to combine efforts for something they see as a great opportunity for Lawton.
"We just figured what better way could we do something about it and we knew we could get a pretty decent crowd if we used the form of entertainment," said Lockhart.
Event organizer Jesse Dalton said the focus was to bring together all cultures represented in Lawton. They're doing that through a music fest displaying 5 different genres: rock, rap, gospel, country and r&b. "They're going to play right next to each other and that's how we want it to be because it's all about unity," said Dalton.
City crews have been working to remove graffiti left behind by vandals to make way for a family-friendly setting for the event. "It all boils down to getting the kids off the streets. We want kids to know that when they graduate high school the first place they have to go doesn't have to be the streets. They can go to college, come back, open a business and better the community," Dalton said.
Event sponsors include Red Bull, endorsements from T.W. Shannon and the Recreation Division of the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Lawton.
Lockhart and Dalton said they know this single event won't change Lawton overnight but it is a step in the right direction. "It just...it makes you want to shed a tear. Because I can really see the love that the people have for this community, and the love that people have for unity. And everybody wants to come together...so I'm happy. I'm happy to say the least."
The event is taking place this Saturday, August 17 at the McMahon skate park located at 38th and Lee. It starts at 6:00 p.m. If you would like to skate in the competition, registration will be from 6:00 - 6:45 p.m. Saturday evening.
Part of the proceeds from the event will be given to the Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority to fund the new skate park in Elmer Thomas Park. Plans for the park are still in the early stages and could be expected to be built in the next 3-5 years.