On Friday night, Kirkland's favorite street hosted a celebration for all ages which included live music by Geoffrey Castle, a speech by Mayor Amy Walen and of course, a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening Park Lane after months of extensive renovation. The city celebrated the event under blue skies and 80+ degree temperatures after crews worked hard to substantially complete the street in time for the ceremony.
Kirklanders of all ages were out shopping and dining al fresco while people watching and exploring the changes made to Park Lane. Of particular interest were three rain gardens and storm water bio retention basins with temporary railings.
The mood on the street was one of joy with smiles to be seen on both the young and the old. The young ones looked to be having the most fun of all, dancing to the music with out a care in the world.
My wife Kate and I joined some friends for dinner and we experienced the scene for about three hours. What we most noticed was a sense of place that was created on Park Lane as crowds gathered around the music located in the center of the street. We hope to see more of this.
A town square or piazza is something Kirkland has lacked for too long and on this day we think we witnessed the beginnings of what just might grow into such a gathering place.
We look forward to the watching the continued evolution of this street. Kudos to the Kirkland City Council, staff, merchants, citizens and downtown association for their input, efforts and dedication to improving this most cherished of Kirkland streets.