Among Skate Park's Biggest Fans: Smithsonian

Since tribal officials unveiled a $600,000 skate park at Pala almost a year ago, the facility has attracted scores of admiring skaters, but perhaps its most significant fan hails from Washington, D.C., reports the North County Times.

The revered Smithsonian research and museum center has included the Pala band of Mission Indians in an exhibit on skateboarding and American Indian culture opening Friday at its National Museum of the American Indian, said exhibition curator Betsy Gordon.

"If you go on any skate Web site, you will see that Pala gets very, very high rankings," said Gordon, who visited the facility last year with a group of skaters. "It's a great skate park. It's very well-designed and well-built. This skate park was built from the kids up, not from the tribal council down. They did their homework, and built a really good park."

Dubbed "Ramp It Up," the Smithsonian exhibit runs through Sept. 13, featuring dozens of photographs and pieces of skateboarding memorabilia linking American Indian communities across the United States to the popular sport.

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