AMERICAN FORK, Utah (ABC4) – Wheelchair users, family, and friends are coming together for the Fourth Annual Wheelchair Palooza event on August 12 in American Fork.

Wheelchair Palooza will be at Greenwood Skatepark at 500 South 200 East in American Fork this Saturday. Events run between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The event is centered on wheelchair users and the active setting of a skatepark. Users and families will get wheels-on experience in ramps, rails, and jumps and even learn more about organizations and program opportunities in adaptive recreation.

Amanda King, an event organizer with Wheelchair Palooza, says a wheelchair camp when she was young helped to expose her to other wheelchair users and possibilities. She wants those thinking about attending the event to realize the impact it could have on themselves or their loved ones.

“When you find a community that you can exist in and feel like yourself, and have others that are like you, you’re able to talk about more things and learn about things that you never knew before,” says King. “Anytime you get people in wheelchairs together at an event like this, there are conversations that we have that we don’t get to have around able-bodied people. It’s just so nice.”

In the past, the Palooza has drawn at least 100 wheelchair users and their families and friends. The event includes interactive skate park sessions, a wheelchair-user speaking panel, local wheelchair-specific vendors and resources, as well as dinner for participants.

Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham. Photos courtesy Wasatch Adaptive Sports.

One of the highlights is demonstrations from Aaron Fotheringham, aka “Wheelz” from Nitro Circus along with other competitive wheelchair MX athletes. Fotheringham has been a pioneer in the sport of wheelchair MX. He loves sharing the abilities he has worked hard to unlock.

“Nobody has done what I do before me,” he says. “My friends who are professional BMX athletes give me advice, but they don’t really know how to do the tricks with a wheelchair. I have to figure it out on my own. It takes a lot of practice.” He says he wants to change the perception others have of people using wheelchairs and to help everyone see their own challenges with a new perspective.