A huge turnout is expected for the Depot Park Grand Opening Celebration Saturday, Aug. 20 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has been working closely with the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Regional Transit System, Alachua County and others to prepare for the big event.
For those biking to the event, Active Streets Alliance is providing free bike valet service. They will be located just south of the Depot Building.
For those driving to the event, special event parking is available, with free shuttles to and from remote lots. The remote parking lots include the Cade Museum on the west side of South Main Street and four lots on Southeast Fifth Avenue between Southeast Second and Seventh Streets. Parking ambassadors will direct traffic into the lots and guide pedestrians to the shuttle stops. Shuttle services to Depot Park begin at 8 a.m. the day of the event. The RTS lot adjacent to the park will also be available for use from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. There will be no shuttle service from the RTS lot; however, attendees can enter the park on the south side and walk through the nature conservation area to the festivities. Disabled permit parking is available in the dedicated Depot Park lot on Southeast Fourth Street.
A map of transportation and parking for the day may be viewed online.
There is no formal ceremony as is typical for a CRA grand opening; the focus is on bringing the community together to celebrate this amazing project, turned iconic Gainesville park. The Grand Opening celebration includes games, activities and entertainment for kids and adults alike. The schedule of events is as follows:
During the entire event, guests can make sidewalk chalk art on the promenade, play corn hole, visit many vendor booths and get their photos taken photo booth style by the big “D” sculpture at the west entrance.
Food trucks and food vendors will be along the promenade; their operating hours will vary.
Event goers are invited to visit each vendor booth to learn about the various groups, companies and individuals who had a hand in the park’s creation; everything from how the site was remediated, to the inspiration behind the playground equipment, to the cyclists who are memorialized on the site.
For more information about getting to the park, Depot Park in general, or to RSVP for the Grand Opening Celebration, please contact CRA Project Manager Tricia Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-393-8215.
The Gainesville CRA's goal is to build awesome things that make a difference in Gainesville, Florida. Bridging the gap between public and private investment, the agency awakens potential in underserved urban areas. Its toolkit includes: buckets of fresh paint, robust public infrastructure assistance, motivated community do-ers, economic incentives and ambitious creative vision.
The City of Gainesville established the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in 1981. The authority to establish the CRA is enabled by Sections 163.330-163.45 Florida Statutes. Redevelopment is undertaken in four distinct redevelopment districts: Downtown, Fifth Avenue Pleasant Street, College Park University Heights and the Eastside Redevelopment Areas. Redevelopment projects are coordinated in these districts by the CRA and implemented by a team of partners that includes other city departments and private citizens.