January 21, 2010 - Grab your blanket and lawn chair and head to downtown Tampa on Sunday, January 24 to celebrate the grand opening of downtown's newest park site, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Festivities begin at 1:30 p.m. and will include an afternoon of family-friendly activities and live entertainment to introduce the park to the public. Mayor Iorio will cut the ribbon and officially open the park during a brief ceremony at 2 p.m.
The new eight acre Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park features a unique urban design, sustainable construction, and operational features including reclaimed water for irrigation and LED lighting. Park amenities include the Great Lawn with flexible perimeter seating to accommodate a wide range of programming and performances, a dog run, a kiosk with restrooms, and a Pavilion building with restrooms, park offices, and space for a future vendor. There are also two interactive fountains: the Louver fountain is located on the east side of the park along Ashley Drive and the Mist Fountain is located on the west side the park along the Riverwalk. The fountains were made possible through a donation from the F.E. Lykes Foundation. The park's new playground features an interactive NEOS 360 Ring, which combines video games with aerobic exercise and is the first of its kind in the South East United States. The NEOS 360 Ring was donated by the Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc.
A key segment of the Riverwalk runs through the park now connects the David Straz Performing Arts Center to the Glazer Children's Museum and the Tampa Museum of Art. The park design was created by Thomas Balsley and Associates of New York. The project construction cost was $15.7 million and funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
Other improvements were made in conjunction with the park project, including renovations to Nations Bank Park Plaza/Kiley Gardens and improvements to adjacent intersection of Gasparilla Plaza, Cass and Tyler Streets to provide easier pedestrian connections.
For more information, please contact the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department at (813) 274-8615 or visit us on the web.
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