MEDIA ADVISORY - PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - Mayor Buckhorn, Community Leaders Cut Ribbon on Completed Water Works Park - Celebrations continue Saturday, August 16 with festival

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Mayor Buckhorn will join Richard Gonzmart of the Columbia Restaurant Group and Michael Babb of the Southwest Florida Water Management District as well as other community leaders to formally open the park and cut the ribbon on Water Works Park on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 10 a.m. After the ribbon cutting, the Rotary Club of Tampa will present a check for $40,000 to the city for the naming rights to the Downtown Rotary Pavilion in Waterworks Park as part of the Club’s 100th anniversary celebration this year.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by a free festival on Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., complete with food trucks, children’s activities, entertainment, and more. Friends of Tampa Recreation Inc. will sell alcohol, with proceeds going towards programming in City of Tampa parks. The fireworks display will begin at approximately 9 p.m.

The 5-acre Water Works Park now includes a play area modeled after a ship, splash pad, 8,500 sq. ft. dog run, performance pavilion, and open lawn for events. The Tampa Riverwalk was also extended to run throughout the park along the Hillsborough River. A kayak launch, eight boat slips and a water taxi stop will be installed once the permits are approved. Ulele Spring, formerly called Magbee Spring, has been restored and opened to river.

In addition to the park improvements and spring restoration, the City of Tampa leased the historic Water Works Building adjacent to the park to the Columbia Restaurant Group. Opening to the public on Tuesday Aug. 26, at 5 p.m., Ulele represents a $5 million renovation of the former city pumping station. Named for a legendary Native American princess, the restaurant and brewery celebrate the vibrant fusion of local ingredients. The menu is inspired by a rich variety of Native American and multicultural influences, including those of European explorers. In addition to the creative repurposing of the building itself, the restaurant will feature a series of distinctive touches from local artists who designed and created table tops and bases, wine racks, doors and counters.

The total cost for the improvements to the park is $7.4 million, and were completed by Biltmore Construction, Inc. $6.5 million comes from Capital Improvements Tax (CIT) project funding with additional monies coming from a SWFWMD grant.

To view or download a high resolution rendering of the park, please visit


Mayor Bob Buckhorn
Richard Gonzmart, Columbia Restaurant Group
Michael Babb, Chair of the Governing Board, Southwest Florida Water Management District


Tuesday, August 12, 2014
10:00 a.m.


Water Works Park
1710 N. Highland Ave.
***Parking along Doyle Carlton will be reserved for media.

Ali Glisson
Public Affairs Director
(813) 274-8262