Skate Night starts off BT festival fun

New event sponsored by the Shipwreck Alley Rollers

News Photo by Jordan Spence Kids take their turn skating including Kylie Witulski, 6, left, Macie Nunneley and Alex Gies during Skate Night with the Shipwreck Alley Rollers during the Brown Trout Festival, Friday in Alpena.

ALPENA — Friday was a day for firsts at the Brown Trout Festival.

The Brown Trout event, Skate Night with the Shipwreck Alley Rollers helped kick off festival activities.

Under the big tent people skated fast, slow and everything in between.

The roller derby team volunteered to organize, paint faces and to assist some of the newer skaters.

“What we’re doing is very community-based. A lot of our league’s mission is to create a fun environment that is inclusive to everyone in Alpena and the outlying areas,” said Team Captain Cristi Johnson.

Johnson said there’s a reason they created the event for the festival.

“The team wants to provide low cost entertainment to Alpena and the Brown Trout has a big legacy with that,” she added.

Rick Fetter who volunteers with the team as a non-skating official was also there.

He said he began to volunteer his time with them because his niece skates for the team.

“Anything I can do to support the team,” he said. “It’s been good for Alpena and it’s just another alternative sport,” he said.

Fawn Gies is also a non-skating official and was there with her family.

“It’s fun to be involved with the community. The whole thing (derby) in a nutshell has gotten me out of my norm,” Gies said.

Kylie, 6, and Jacie Witulski, 7, took turns around the track with the help of their dad Joe.

When asked why they attended Jacie said, “Because my Mom thought it would be fun for us. She plays roller derby. I like to move around the cones the most.”

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687.