(The grassy west half of Junction Plaza Park, just before the dedication ceremony)
ORIGINAL 5:35 PM REPORT: Quite the crowd at the corner of 42nd and Alaska, and the event is about to start, ceremonial ribbon-cutting at all. Lots of Junction luminaries are here – and other parks supporters – plus City Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Tom Rasmussen, present and past chairs of the council’s Parks Committee, deputy Parks Superintendent Eric Friedli, and Parks Board members including chair Jackie Ramels of Alki.
Todd Carden of Elliott Bay Brewery Pub is opening the ceremony, recalling how the vision dates back a decade, and how creating the park has been a true public-private partnership. 5:47 PM: Carden has just declared the park open – after the ribbon-cutting, and a series of short speeches – here’s our video of the ribboncutting:
With the big scissors, that’s Erica Karlovits, president of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, and Susan Melrose, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association, who co-chaired the final push for park completion. (Karlovits and Melrose walked away from the stage cheering, “It’s dedicated!” Right about this time last year, they were still collecting donations – in jars and barrels at West Seattle Summer Fest.) The young helper in the video is Mia Presser, daughter of Junction-based TouchTech Systems proprietor Brian Presser.
6:01 PM: Just talked with Steve and Sharon Huling – there’s a plaque in the “performance area” on the north side of the park bearing the inscription “The Huling Family/2010” – it’s in this photo with the Hulings and son Grant:
And of course, we talked about the forthcoming Trader Joe’s on one of his sites in The Triangle – we’d spoken to him shortly after the company made the official announcement earlier this month. (Steve Huling also tells us that brother Tom Huling and Tom’s wife Lori wanted to be there too to celebrate the park’s opening, but they’re on vacation.)
Meantime, violinist Pasquale Santos is playing “Don’t Stop Believing,” and that is a fitting anthem for the West Seattleites who worked so long and hard to make this park a reality.
(6:48 pm note – Event’s over, but we’ll be adding more photos and video!)