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BRIEF: Roll through the cold months

Join the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department at Open Roller Skate

Photos from Open Roller Skate at Depot Market Square in Bellingham, Wash. // Photos courtesy of Bellingham Parks and Recreation

After an open roller skate event thrown by Whatcom Roller Skaters in Lynden took place this summer, Rosa Caldwell and co-worker Billy Reeves were inspired. With no roller skating venues in Bellingham, Caldwell knew she wanted to create a place in town for when the sun stopped shining.

As education programs and activities director for the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department, Caldwell developed a solution to transform Depot Market Square into a roller rink. 

But Caldwell and Reeves wondered, what happens when the weather turns sour?

Since they already co-host a skateboard camp with Zac Garza, owner of  Unknown Board Shop, Caldwell took the inspiration from Whatcom Roller Skaters to create an indoor open roller skate of her own.

“We had a blast and thought that it would be sad to see [Whatcom Roller Skaters] have to stop skating due to bad weather,” said Caldwell in an email. “What does Parks & Rec do when there is bad weather? We get creative.” 

Open Roller Skate is free for anyone and takes place once or twice a month from September to May.

Caldwell and her coworkers set up lights and a sound system, wrapping wrestling mats around the hard steel columns of the building to protect skaters.

The goal for Open Roller Skate in Bellingham is to have a cost-free fun time – no one has to be experienced, Caldwell said.

“The best part of getting on skates is that it’s a relatively cheap form of recreation for all ages,” she said. “Every time you put on a pair of skates, you are improving and growing.”

For those looking to roller skate more than once or twice a month, there is Lynden Skateway and Skagit Skate. The Bellingham Roller Betties offers another option for those looking for a full-contact sport while roller skating. 

Upcoming dates for Open Roller Skate and more events thrown by the Parks and Recreation Department can be found in the Bellingham Playbook.

Logan Schreiber

Logan Schreiber (he/him) is a fourth-year student going into the PR Journalism program. He enjoys writing and music, hoping to do both for his career. You can reach him at

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