A celebrated piece of Newburgh’s past is set for a grand reopening.
The Avalon roller rink is set to open on Saturday, June 3 at 2 Commercial Place. City residents will be able to enjoy free food, try on skates and ride with and enjoy additional performances from musical guests Corey Glover (Living Colour) and Lord Jarmar from Brand Nubian.
The celebration will begin at 1 p.m.
The rebirth of the Avalon today is now being headed up by Giancarlo Lorusso, a longtime roller skater, DJ and local filmmaker in the Newburgh area. Growing in the 1970s and 80s, Lorusso took to roller skating at a young age and in his youth, he would consistently practice to be on par with the adult skaters. He was consistently outside and enjoyed skating as a pastime. For Lorusso, roller skating is a fun and enjoyable form of exercise that provides a great cardiovascular workout. It is a low-impact activity that is easy on the joints and can be done indoors or outdoors. It is also a social activity that has become more popular in recent years with affordable skates and online communities and has become another outlet of self expression. This project for Lorusso was also important to him as she shared that it was an opportunity to continue spending time with his mother who had experienced several medical challenges including COVID at one point. “I’m just trying to bring families together. I’m really excited about it and that’s what gets me up in the morning,” said Lorusso. “I want to get everyone up on skates.”
With the discovery of the former Rollerdrome and working with the owners of the facility, Lorusso looks forward to bringing skating to Newburgh and celebrating a piece of Newburgh’s history. “I was overwhelmed by the open arms response that I’ve received from everyone [in the community],” said Lorusso. “It’s gonna get people talking again.”
In preparation for Saturday, Lorusso has been working to prepare the facility to be ready for the skaters, working out the liabilities with the owners and he shared he has been able to partner with American Athletic Shoe Co Inc out of Ware, MA and has been able to acquire various colored skates for Saturday. Lorusso was able to try out the floor for himself and was impressed with the quality of it. “We really want to make this as comfortable for everyone as possible knowing that they’re safe,” said Lorusso.
According to Lorusso, the Avalon’s Commercial Place location is actually the second location of the historic skating rink. The Avalon’s first location was actually located in the now today Newburgh Vintage Emporium located along Route 17K. Following the usage of the rink at the now emporium, the space served as a concert hall facility.