Friday, June 22, 2012

Journeys Backyard Barbeque Tour

     A mix of motocross, music, extreme sports and exciting creativity, the Journeys Backyard Barbeque Tour is rolling to the Colorado Mills Mall on June 23, 2012, for some free summer fun. The mall, at 14500 W. Colfax Ave. in Lakewood, is the last of 12 stops the tour will make during its seventh annual trip across the country. From noon to 7 p.m. visitors will not only be able to see some of the work of top BMX and motocross riders and skaters, they will hear free live music and get a chance to help design a new shoe for Converse.
     “It was very important to Journeys to put together an event that made sense for their audience, with all the elements that reflects their company — music, design and extreme sports,” said Brian Gass, organizer of the tour. “It all came together into this cohesive event that everyone can relate to and everyone can come together at.”
     The event features a 32-foot-long mobile music stage and a 60,000-square-foot “action sports playground” of jumps and ramps, which the Metal Mulisha freestyle motocross team will use to perform jumps and flips more than three stories high.
      BMX riders from Team etnies will also use the playground to show off their skills, while professional skaters Devine Calloway, Nick Garcia and Chris Haslam and others will tear it up on the ramps.
     “It’s really an amazing opportunity for people to get up-close with these athletes,” Gass said. “Rodney Mullen, one of the fathers of skateboarding, who was actually in the very first Tony Hawk skating video game, will also be on hand.”
     According to tour publicist Beth Pursley, Colorado is one of only two stops where there will be a wakeboarding demonstration in addition to the concrete jungle sports. All the athletes will be available for autographs and meet-and-greets after they perform, which gives attendees a rare chance to get up close and personal.
     “The fact that you get up close to these action-sports stars is pretty amazing,” Pursley said. “At events like the X-Games, you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near them.”
     Music will fill the area, with a battle of the bands between locals Saving Avery, The Field, The Ocean and Fulcrum. Headliners are Hit the Lights and early post-punk icons Eve 6.
     “Including music in the tour was very important,” Gass said. “It’s one of those elements, a constant, that everyone can relate to.”
     An interactive fun zone with all kinds of booths and games will also be set up, including a booth by Converse called “Punk Your Chucks,” where artists can use a Sharpie to design a shoe. A winner will be picked at each stop on the tour, with one winner’s design put into production by Converse.
Journeys will donate the shoes that weren’t used or didn’t make the cut to local nonprofits. All the shoes from Colorado Mills will be going to the Broomfield-based A Precious Child, which will be donated to children in need as part of the nonprofit’s “Share On” program.
     “Since we’re only selecting one shoe as a winner, there will be hundreds to donate,” Pursley said.
     "This is a pretty amazing operation, and the shoes that were created last year just flew off our shelves,” said Aaron Smith, director of development and marketing at A Precious Child. “There’s always a need for shoes, and we can’t stock them fast enough.”
     With so much to see and do, Gass expects this year’s event to be the biggest yet. “It’s a great opportunity to see it all in one place, and you can’t beat that it’s free,” he said.

For more information on the tour, go online to

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