I don’t profess to have lived in Minneapolis during the era of the Aquatennial that featured AquaJam — a skateboard extravaganza that reached the height of popularity in the late 1980s/early 1990s before fading away — but I’ve heard from enough people to know that 1) it was pretty awesome. 2) It’s even more awesome that it is making its return this year.
Don’t believe me? Well: 1) there’s photo (to the side) and video (below) evidence that this used to be a thing; and 2) It is most definitely coming back — from 3-8 p.m. Saturday, in fact, at Boom Island Park.
Tucker Gerrick, director of marketing for Fulton Beer, and a longtime skateboarding enthusiast who remembers AquaJam from his youth, was instrumental in getting the event back on the schedule this year.
Gerrick, 36, said he moved with his family to the Twin Cities from Iowa in 1988 and it “blew his mind” that such a thing as AquaJam existed. He’s hoping this year’s event will provide a similar jolt for the thriving local skateboard scene.
“It was quite popular and super impressive,” Gerrick said. “Remember, this is pre-X games, pre-video games, anything that the general public is associating now with skateboarding being in the mainstream,” said Gerrick, noting the good timing of this year’s AquaJam after Minneapolis was just awarded the X Games for 2017 and 2018. “Not only to have be so well-attended but to have it happen outside the California context, that was pretty killer. On a lot of levels, It’s a testament to just how strong the scene here has been for decades.”