Festival brings skateboarders, rock climbers and others to Mississauga

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Published May 21, 2024 at 2:32 pm

Jackalope Festival comes to Mississauga summer 2024.

Organizers might describe it as a pretty gnarly festival that’s coming to Mississauga this summer for the first installment of a three-year run.

And they wouldn’t be referencing the traditional definition of the adjective (rough, twisted), but rather the slang version that identifies an event considered to be “something extreme,” especially something that’s dangerous and exciting.

The Jackalope Action Sports Festival, a Montreal-based exhibition of skateboarding, bouldering (rock climbing), breaking (breakdancing) and more that tours North America throughout the year, will be in downtown Mississauga at Celebration Square and Square One Shopping Centre July 12-14.

Organizers said it promises to be an exciting demonstration of sports that will also be on competitive display as part of the Paris Olympic Games this summer.

The three-day visit to the city is the event’s first-ever appearance in Ontario, organizers note, and it’s happening in collaboration with Visit Mississauga, the City of Mississauga’s tourism arm.

Festival organizers added in a news release issued on Tuesday they’ve agreed with city officials to stage the festival again in Canada’s seventh-largest city in 2025 and 2026.

A crooked grind, boardslide, brain bucket and double set are just a few terms visitors to the festival might use and hear over the three days. You can add to that list an alley-oop, goofy-foot, 180, 360 and 720 as well as an air walk — and those bits of action sports lingo are just a few you’ll find at the top of the alphabet. There are many more.

“Our event has been embraced by the action sports community throughout North America and we’re very proud to bring this celebration of the sports we love to Ontario for 2024. We are pleased to have the participation of renowned athletes for the first edition of our festival in Ontario,” said Micah Desforges, founding president of Tribu and promoter of the Jackalope series.

Jackalope, a Tribu property, was created in Montréal in 2012 to shine a spotlight on action sports and create opportunities for communities to come together and celebrate their passion, festival organizers added.

“Since then, thousands of Canadian and international athletes have participated in and made the festival their own,” they continued. “Stars have been born at Jackalope and many of its disciplines are now represented at the Olympic Games.”

Organizers promise festival visitors will be treated to a free adrenaline fix as they take in a packed program featuring skateboarding (both street and vert ramp), breaking, bouldering and freestyle motocross.

Live entertainment, food trucks and a pop-up marketplace are also part of the festival.

Several well-known skateboarders will take part in the Mississauga festival, including Mia K (10-year-old “phenom” from Australia), Kenji Leon Jordan (12-year-old from Thailand) and Orapan Tongkong, 26, born in Thailand and raised in Belgium, who’ll be making her first appearance in Canada.

Visit Mississauga CEO Victoria Clarke said in the news release residents won’t want to miss the “incredible action sport festival.”

“With the rising profile of skateboarding, bouldering and breakdancing, especially since their inclusion in the Paris Olympics, it’s a real win for the city and will create a must-see weekend for the next three years,” she said.

“For the first time ever, area residents now have the opportunity to experience and be inspired by extreme sports right here in the heart of Mississauga,” said Stephen Gascoine, director of Square One Shopping Centre.

The Jackalope Action Sports Festival will be in Virginia Beach May 31 to June 2 prior to the Mississauga event and in Montreal from Sept. 13-15.

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