It's a new era.
More than 300 of the world's best skateboarders will compete at the annual Dew Tour event this week at the Long Beach Convention Center and Rainbow Park Lagoon.
For attendees, the free four-day professional skateboarding competition creates a festival atmosphere for skateboard aficionados and casual fans looking to enjoy a weekend downtown. But for the competitors, the stakes are raised this year.
For the first time ever, skateboarding will be an Olympic sport starting at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, which means Long Beach will be the proving grounds for future Olympians. It is the first qualifying event for skaters from around the world.
For the fans, the festival will kick off at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, with the public skate park open from 2 to 8:30 p.m. The skate park will be open at designated times between competitions through Sunday.
Also on Thursday, the women's quarter final will skate from 1 to 3 p.m. on the Street Course and the semi final competition will pick up from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the Park Course.
On Friday, The women's semi final is happening from noon to 4:30 p.m. on the street course and the men's quarter final gets going from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Park Course.
On Saturday, the men are front and center with men's semi finals happening at 12:45 to 3:15 p.m. and again from 3:45 to 8:15 p.m.
Finally, Sunday will conclude the competitions with the women's street final from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the women's park final from 1 to 2 p.m., the men's street final from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and the men's park final from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Live music will blast from the Dew Tour Stage speakers featuring Blackillac, Destiny Rogers, Hopsin and the Long Beach Unified Marching Band Drumline. A not-so-secret wall art battle also is scheduled to happen between 5:45 and 6:45 p.m. on Friday at the Dew Tour on the Green location at Rainbow Lagoon Park.
Food vendors and drink tents also will be available near Rainbow Lagoon.
The event will be broadcast live on NBC and NBCSN, as well as livestreamed for free at dewtour.com.
The Long Beach Dew Tour Skateboard Competition and Festival returns to Long Beach next Thursday, June 13, through Sunday, June 16, at the Long Beach Convention Center (300 E. Ocean Blvd.) and Rainbow Lagoon Park (400 E Shoreline Dr).
Parking is available at the Convention Center parking lots for $15. For more information and a full list of competitors, go to dewtour.com.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at email@example.com.