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Skateboard fest set for Saturday

ANADARKO  Dozens of skaters will grind, ollie and kickflip their way to Anadarko Saturday for the region's largest skate tournament.

The 14th annual Am-Jam Skateboard tournament will attract 50-70 skaters to Rotary Park, where they'll perform their best tricks for a share of $1,000 in cash and prizes across four categories: beginning, intermediate, advanced and old man. Josh Klinglesmith, organizer and skater, said the tournament is not just the largest in a multi-state area, but also the longest running of its kind because it attracts the best and offers the most fun and enjoyment for people of all ages.

"We've been going so long we had to add an old man category three or four years ago," he said. "That's for the guys over 30 who still do this. Many of us aged out of the lower categories. It's hard for us old guys to keep up with the younger kids. The knees and backs just don't hold out."

Klinglesmith is doubling down on the family inclusion this year by adding multiple games and activities for those who don't necessarily skate. He wants to make the tournament a festival each year with bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, tower bounces, free music and barbecue. Klinglesmith said he began thinking about doing something more with the tournament after attending the X-Games a few times and after speaking with the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce. Everyone saw a chance to make something really special. 

"We're trying to build the skate contest that we have established and make it bigger to attract more people," he said. "I want to turn this into an event."

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