The landscape of downtown Vancouver has been re-invented, and the City of Vancouver is finally ready to showcase the new waterfront. With ten years of build-up, the pier is a welcome addition to the riverside strip of land that has been undeveloped for many years.
On Saturday, September 29th, residents and visitors are invited to the official ribbon cutting ceremony. This signals the completion of the first phase of development that includes the focal point of the new business hub, the new pier.
The pier was designed by artist Larry Kirkland and serves as a frame to capture the beauty of the Columbia River. This addition to the waterfront is formally called the Cable Stay Pier. It is not a traditional design that merely sends a dock off of a boardwalk, but instead a series of modern cables that holds an arrowhead-shaped pier 90 feet above the water.
The official event runs from 11 AM to 3 PM. With over 34,000 residents already marked as attending the event via the Facebook page, this is sure to be an afternoon to remember. Most of the festivities will take place on the newly finished Waterfront Way and along the pier.
Parking is open to the public but limited in the area. Public parking is available in the lots located at the intersection of Grant Street and Columbia Way. There are new lots on both sides of Grant. There is also a special parking lot for ADA parking and reserved spaces located between Columbia Way and Waterfront Way.
Because these lots are sure to fill up quickly, the city is suggesting that those attending also consider parking on city streets. Street parking will be free the day of the event.
There are also several parking garages available in the area. There are two Park ‘n Go garages in the area. The first is located at the corner of 5th and Broadway. This garage is offering free parking for the event. The other garage is located at 6th and Columbia. There is a $1.25 an hour charge to use the second garage.
There are two shuttle options for this event. Both start operation at 9:30 AM and run every 15 minutes until 4 PM.
C-TRAN is operating a free shuttle from Hudson’s Bay High School. There will be a temporary bus stop at the corner of E. Mill Plain and E. Reserve Street.
The City of Vancouver is running a free shuttle from Clark College. The pick-up points for these shuttle will be the green and yellow parking lots on campus. The address for this stop is 1933 Fort Vancouver Way.
This family-friendly event welcomes local artists to entertain and celebrate this big event. Guests of all ages are invited to meet the Oregon Mermaids and enjoy face painting. There are also commemorative sand pails available the day of the ceremony.
Because this is a day to celebrate and enjoy the new focal point of downtown Vancouver, there will also be live music and dancing. Vancouver-based The Pearls is bringing their brand of alternative country to get families dancing. They are well-known for a creative mix of swing and country.
Another local group, The Juleps, calls Portland home. They are a trio that is known for a jazzy mix of swing and blues. They have been compared to the Andrews Sisters.
Both of the local bands promise a light-hearted and enjoyable afternoon for families wanting to get their first glimpse of the new pier. While there is still a lot of construction to be completed in the area including a hotel and many eateries, there are a few restaurants and retails spaces that are going to be open for the event.
The ribbon cutting ceremony is the signal of big things to come for both Vancouver and Clark County. For those wishing to get involved with the event as a volunteer, the City of Vancouver is still looking for a full staff to help keep the event running smoothly.
There are still shifts available for a wide range of needs including setting up/take down, staffing the City of Vancouver information booth on site, staffing a variety of tables throughout the event and guest check-in.
Volunteers can contact the city directly at 360-487-8344. There is also further information about the volunteer needs online.