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Payne Park to hold Olympics watch party for Jake Ilardi

The local skateboarder is competing in the Street event on Saturday

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The city of Sarasota and Bill Wagy Productions will host a Tokyo Olympics watch party at Payne Park Amphitheater in support of Jake Ilardi, a local skateboarder who will represent the United States in the Street competition. 

The watch party will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday with a live pre-show hosted by Bill Wagy and Benny Ray. It will include a preview of a documentary on Ilardi filmed by his brother, Nate Ilardi, and Liam Jordan. The NBC broadcast of the event will begin at 8 p.m. There will be a 45-minute break between the event's semifinals and final, expected to be between 10:30 and 11 p.m. 

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. In addition to the broadcast, there will be contests held to win one of Ilardi's skateboards or a skating lesson from the Olympian himself. 

Ilardi grew up skating the rails at Payne Park and has stated on numerous occasions how much the park means to him. Earlier this year, Ilardi helped raise more than $17,000 to build a new quarter pipe at the park. 

For more information on how Olympic skateboarding works, check out the Observer's guide to the sport



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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