VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The second day of the Jackalope Fest kicked off with one of the biggest skateboarding names in the world.

Tony Hawk met with large crowds of fans just hours before he was set to hit the ramps himself. Organizers tell 10 On Your Side Monday that over 50,000 people attended the weekend event.

“First of all its an honor that so many people showed up. And second of all I’m just thankful for Virginia Beach for supporting something like this,” Hawk said, “It’s always been a strong skate scene here and has not slowed down at all.”

But it wasn’t his first time in the resort city. The pro skateboarder spoke of his own competition days in Virginia Beach back in 1986.

“I’ve been here several times. There used to be a big skating event here in the 80s at Mount Trashmore and so I came to those and I’ve done other exhibitions too but not for a long time.”

Jackalope ceo, Micah Deforges said that was one of the reasons he picked Virginia Beach as the host of this year’s fest, this being the first year the event has been held in the United States.

“To bring him back is a reunion, and we recognized that when we did our research and talked to the right people around the city of Virginia Beach so that for us was eye opening,” he said.

This year was the first out of a three year agreement between Jackalope and Virginia Beach.

Deputy City Manager Taylor Adams told 10 On Your Side where a good portion of city’s investment went.

“Something really cool that Jackalope did is, they made the event open to the public. So they took the city investment and they said instead of charging for tickets we’re gonna make this free to all the citizens of Virginia Beach.”

And what tricks will Tony pull during his showcase? He said because of a serious injury he sustained last year, he’ll be pulling out his tried and trues.

“This is my first public exhibition since then. These guys are gonna do the heavy lifting, so I’m just there to play tambourine and do some old school tricks.”

The fest will continue through to Sunday.