Paint and Skate event brings a splash of color to Island Park

What happened: On Saturday, May 13, 2023, For Arts Sake of Mt. Pleasant hosted a “Paint and Skate” event at Island Park in Mt. Pleasant, sponsored by the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The free community event took place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and featured a variety of activities including live music from VoltAmps, Nidaria, and other local bands; food from Crusin Chef; and of course, lots of paint. 

Volunteers from Thrive Church were present at the event handing out popcorn, slushies, and cotton candy to attendees. The Mt. Pleasant Optimist Club handed out helmets to children to encourage safety at the skatepark as well. 

Community members painted ramps during the Paint and Skate event at the Island Park skatepark in downtown Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, May 13, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Megan Bair)What they’re saying: Megan Bair, co-founder of For Arts Sake, said that this event was inspired by her own love for Island Park. 

Bair often visits the skatepark with her son and shared that whenever she visited, she just couldn’t help but think about making the ramps nicer. Prior to the event, the ramps were painted blue and marked with graffiti. 

Bair shared that For Arts Sake primed the skate ramps and outlined the murals in the days prior to the event. 

“There were no skills necessary,” she says. “We just wanted to encourage people to come out, have fun, and help us paint.” 

The ramps were decorated “paint-by-numbers” style with various depictions of flowers, sunshine, plants, mythical creatures, and more. Anyone of any age was welcome to participate in the painting. 

Community members painted ramps decorated "paint-by-numbers" style during the Paint and Skate event at the Island Park skatepark in downtown Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, May 13, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Megan Bair)Why it’s important: Through Paint and Skate, Bair hopes to end the stigma that Island Park’s skatepark is not a kid-friendly place. 

“There’s a lot of very cool people that use this space, but I feel like it could just be more inviting,” Bair stated. 

Bair hopes that the new murals will encourage families to use the skatepark more often and bring a more inviting atmosphere to Island Park.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Adison Reder.

Adison Reder is a student at Central Michigan University. She is studying English and Political Science with a focus in Creative Writing. She enjoys writing about LGBTQ+ Rights, American Political Happenings, and Women’s Rights Advocacy. In addition to writing, her smaller passions include coffee, dogs, and collecting vinyl records. You can contact Adison at