Fort Sk8 in Fort Walton Beach will host a free drive-thru photo op with the Easter bunny for the community.

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Wheels don’t roll across the rink nightly at Fort Sk8.


Like a slew of other local businesses, the Fort Walton Beach skating rink has closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite being shut down, Fort Sk8 conjured up another way to interact with families in the community.


Manager Brett Longo said his family will host a contact free photo op with the Easter bunny for people in their cars.


"We have little kids of our own and we didn’t want them to miss out on things like this," Longo said. "We wanted to do something fun for the community. People can drive up. They don’t have to contact anyone. There’s no touching. It’s different, but it’s different times right now."


The drive-thru Easter bunny photo op is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fort Sk8, 202 Racetrack Road NW, Fort Walton Beach. Photos will be sent via email.


The event won’t just bring together families in the community. Longo will have his wife, Kourtney, daughter Sophia, 8, and son Levi, 3, with him, along with the owner and his grandmother Marie Andrews, aunt Gloria Prince, mother Tina Longo and father Kent Longo.



"The whole rink is a family operation, so the whole family will be there – including my grandmother," Longo said.


Longo tested out the car photo shoot with his own family.


"When the kids are growing up and they’re like, ‘Why are we sitting in the car and the Easter bunny’s outside?’ It might make a fun story in a few years when this is all over," Longo said. "They loved it. My daughter loves anything fun with a mascot. I have been Mr. Incredible, Princess Poppy, Olaf – we do it all the time."


Longo thinks characters are something special children will remember.


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"I remember going to Disney as a kid and seeing Buzz Lightyear," Longo said. "It’s a lasting memory. I don’t want them to remember this event as a scary time. I want them to have good memories of this and spending time with their family and having that chance to have more interaction with their family."


As another way to reach out to the community and to generate income, Fort Sk8 offers to-go food from its café available for pick-up. Longo is particularly excited about this Friday and their movie night special featuring popcorn, icees, candy and free skate passes – for future use.


"I believe the new ‘Trollz’ movie is coming out this Friday, so Princess Poppy is going to be delivering all the food to the cars," Longo said.


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