The Bay Park Opens to 50,000 During Grand Opening Celebration￼
Sarasota’s signature public park, The Bay, opened to the public with a 10-day Grand Opening – transforming the city’s bayfront into a world-class destination offering an open, accessible, free and welcoming gathering space for all to enjoy.
The 10 Days at The Bay Grand Opening included signature events such as: bayfront concerts featuring We The Kings, The Long Run and Etana, family fun days like Boo! at The Bay and Have a Ball Day, the inaugural Taste of The Bay food festival, the park’s very first Multicultural Festival and more. Everyday activities like nature walks, kayak tours, yoga, Zumba and other fitness classes were also part of the celebration. More than 50,000 people were estimated to be in attendance during the park’s first ten days.
In an official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, the Sarasota Military Academy Marching Band led a performance to dignitaries and elected officials, where The Bay Park Conservancy received a Key to the City from Vice Mayor Battie.
The opening of the first phase, which had been in construction since 2019, includes more than 14 acres of revitalized greenspace, a larger-than-life Ibis playground, Common Ground lawns, the Mangrove Bayou Walkway, an outdoor Reading Room, an ADA-accessible paddle launch, restored and preserved mangroves and shorelines, with spectacular sunset views.
The final park will include 53 acres of green space when all phases are completed. Phase 2 development of the park is expected to begin as early as Spring 2023.
Everyone who visited the park over the Grand Opening and all in the community is encouraged to participate in The Bay’s annual Friend of The Bay giving campaign currently underway. By donating as little as $25, the public can support the continued creation of the world-class park and enable free activities, events and programs that benefit the broad and rich diversity of Sarasota and beyond – enabling The Bay to realize its vision of becoming “one park for all.” With a generous grant from The Patterson Foundation, all donations are being matched.
To make a donation and become a Friend of The Bay, visit https://www.thebaysarasota.org/become-a-friend-of-the-bay/