Ceremony opens Gateway Park

Gateway Park in East Wenatchee with the gazebo/stage in the background. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)


By Darlene Paterson
Empire Press Correspondent

Members of the East Wenatchee City Council, East Wenatchee Events Board, Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and other guests gathered at East Wenatchee’s new Gateway Park on July 1 for the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Chamber Executive Director Shiloh Burgess introduced East Wenatchee Mayor Steve Lacy at 3 p.m.

Lacy began by thanking Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz for his show of support at the grand opening. He also introduced members of the Chamber of Commerce, City Council, Events Planning Board, representatives from KRCI Contractors and SCJ Alliance, the designers of the property.

“It took 60 days to build this park, but six years to get started building it,” Lacy said.

Lacy recounted how the original idea — part of the plan to revitalize the city — began with purchasing the property at the corner of 9th Street and Valley Mall Parkway. He said it was a process where community members got involved by providing input over the course of the project. Though it took longer than expected, the end result was worth the wait.

“I m personally proud of what we have accomplished and happy to have been a part of the process,” Lacy added. “We hope this park will not only beautify the entrance to our city, but also be a place that can be used for various community affairs. I can visualize things like farmers markets, community concerts and such. It’s a place residents can now enjoy.”

Burgess presented Lacy with a huge pair of scissors with which to cut the ribbon held by several city council members as Gateway Park officially opened.

Following the ceremony, guests were invited to have refreshments provided by sponsors. Cake Chic Studios provided beautifully decorated and delicious tasting cupcakes and Crunch Pak provided Snack Paks. Water and other soft drinks were provided by the city.

Gateway Park contains generous areas of concrete, tiered grassy areas and landscaping. A gazebo on the lower tier provides shade and a place to relax. Central Visual LLC, a sponsor of the event, provided music from the gazebo stage.

“I can see theater performances out here on the stage,” Burgess commented. “We might do some pop-ups, or I can picture Mother’s Day flower baskets being sold on the corner. It’s going to be so much fun.”

“We are developing some rules and regulations right now,” Lacy added. “I’m envisioning three kinds of use. Level one would be for large city events where we might charge a small fee, another would be for people who might want to come in and use it for a private event, and the third might be for more impromptu events. We will need some kind of approval process to make sure more than one group does not show up wanting to use it at the same time,” he concluded.

For more information about the use of Gateway Park, call East Wenatchee City Hall at 884-9515.