Artists of all ages are encouraged to participate in the Skateboard Art and Design Contest, which highlights skateboarding and the effects it's had on our culture over the years. Cash prizes will be awarded to first place ($100), second place ($50), and third place ($25) winners in the following categories: skateboard deck design using board or paper; two dimensional (2D) multimedia art;  three dimensional (3D) multimedia art; and short videos. The accepted artist fee is $20 for youth and $35 for adults. All submissions must be submitted to the St. Charles County Arts Council in O'Fallon by March 23.

"The parks department is excited to recognize skateboarding by offering citizens a chance to use their artistic abilities to portray the lifestyle and interpretation of this popular growing sport," said St. Charles County Parks Director Bettie Yahn-Kramer.

Additional prizes will be awarded to the winner of the People's Choice Poster Contest, which will be used to help promote   the "Wheels - The Main Event" at the Youth Activity Park, located at 7801 Highway N in Dardenne Prairie. With a state-of-the-art 33,000-square foot skate course, the Youth Activity Park features the largest outdoor skate park in the state of Missouri. During "Wheels -The Main Event" on Saturday, April 18, from 11 a.m. - 2p.m., guests will get to see the short skateboard videos that were submitted; participate in an art deck design class and demonstrations; and have fun dodging the "Alley of Doom." Beginning March 24 through April 1, the public is encouraged to vote for their favorite poster to promote this event by visiting the St. Charles County Arts Council at www.stcharlesart.org.

Artists entering the video category have the opportunity to participate in two open photo sessions at the Youth Activity Park. The first session is from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 and the second is from 1 p.m. - 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 28. Participants interested in attending open photo sessions should contact the St. Charles County Arts Council at (636) 561-0028 or email ConcreteWaveArtShow@gmail.com before the March 15 deadline. To access the skate course at the Youth Activity Park, all participants must have a parent signed waiver on file. The waiver can be found on the St. Charles County Parks website at www.stccparks.org or participants may obtain a copy from the park by calling (636) 561-4964. Contestants interested in participating in the deck design category may order a blank skateboard deck from the arts council for a nominal fee. The order deadline is March 10. Contact the arts council for more information.

The accepted artists participating in the Skateboard Art and Design Contest will also be recognized at a special reception on Friday, April 17, at the St. Charles County Arts Council - Lillian Yahn Gallery, located at 7443 Village Center Dr., O'Fallon, MO 63368. Guests will be able to talk to artists about their work that's on display from 6 - 9 p.m. at the gallery. Don Earley, founder and owner of Future SK8 Shop in Bridgeton, MO will discuss the history of skateboard design during his keynote speech at the reception. The event is free and open to the public. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. All are welcome to attend.

There are four jurors who will be judging the Skateboard Art and Design Contest. They are Don Earley; Keith Whetstone, founder and owner of Jolly Roger Skateboards in Belleville, IL; Katherine Wachter-Heinle, former member of the Missouri Film Commission; and Bruce Howard, local dentist and glass artist.

For detailed information about the Skateboard Art and Design Contest, to register, or to obtain a copy of the juried exhibit entry form, contact the St. Charles County Arts Council at (636) 561-0028 or visit www.stcharlesart.org.

About the Youth Activity Park:
The 25-acre Youth Activity Park (YAP, located at 7801 Highway N in Dardenne Prairie, takes "extreme" sports to the next level with its state-of-the-art 33,000-square foot skate course! The course features nighttime lighting and has beginner, intermediate and advanced bowls, street course, and snake run scattered with ramps, gaps, hubba, and more! The course is open year around to users of all ages, skateboards, inline skates, scooters and BMX bikes can ride throughout the concrete facility that offers challenges for every skill level. Helmets are required for all extreme sports enthusiasts using the skate course. Designed to provide a supervised, safe place for area youth to enjoy an assortment of alternative recreational opportunities, it's also the largest outdoor skate park in the state of Missouri.

In addition to the skate course, the facility also features a 30-foot indoor rock climbing wall, a sand volleyball court, half-court basketball, an open play area, table tennis, foosball table, air hockey and large video gaming area equipped with two flat screen televisions. Reserve an area of the indoor complex for the next birthday party, company picnic, or family function.  Skate School 101 and 102, and Camp X sessions are led by skilled skate instructors throughout the year., and the staff hosts an annual Night of Fright haunted house during October.  For more information about the park, visit www.stccparks.org.