Jul 14, 2023

Rain check: Berkeley’s first ‘roller boogie’ rescheduled for this Sunday

Update, Sept. 19 The first-of-its-kind "roller boogie" initially scheduled for Sunday was postponed a week due to rain. It will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25.

Original post, Sept. 15 Roller skaters will take over Shattuck Avenue on Sunday for a first-ever, day-long "roller boogie."

Berkeley will shut down Shattuck Avenue between Allston Way and University Avenue for the event, which will feature four local DJs and roller-skating lessons. There will also be market with "Tarot readings and lotions and potions."

The street party will last from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and an after-party at Spats will run until 11 p.m. Music will be provided by DJ Walt Diggs, DJ Empire, DJ O’Aces, DJ Bootes and Anthony Dragons.

The roller boogie is free, but riders must bring their own skates or blades; no skateboarders allowed.

In case of rain, the skate party will be rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25.

"We haven't really had a history of downtown takeovers, but it's something that I really want to do more of," said Matthew Jervis, who is in charge of the Downtown Berkeley Association's communications and marketing.

The last time Berkeley closed off Downtown was in April for the Front Row Festival, which featured local artists and musicians and was also hosted by the Downtown Berkeley Association.

The event is timed with the end of summer and the arrival of UC Berkeley students and is intended to showcase downtown Berkeley as a cultural hub. "We want to show off our spot," Jervis said.

Cars will be blocked from driving on Shattuck Avenue on Saturday by several barricades, and Downtown Berkeley Ambassadors will be stationed at intersections to direct traffic away from the roller party.

Safety will be a top priority at Sunday's roller derby after a driver hit two cyclists last Friday at East Bay Bike Party, a monthly celebration of cycling with hundreds of people riding on East Bay streets.

Jervis said closing off the streets to cars will make the event much safer for roller skaters.

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Ally Markovich, who covers the school beat for Berkeleyside, is a former high school English teacher. Her work has appeared in The Oaklandside, The New York Times, Huffington Post and Washington Post,... More by Ally Markovich

Update, Sept. 19 Original post, Sept. 15 tax-deductible donation chip in to Berkeleyside today