The long-awaited opening of Payne Park in the center of the City of Sarasota is scheduled for Saturday, October 6th. The Alta Vista Neighborhood Association, in conjunction with the City of Sarasota and the Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations is celebrating the opening with an extravaganza open to all.

Local neighborhood associations, churches and not-for-profit organizations will host displays, activities and events. Local merchants are invited to participate as well. All are coming together to celebrate what is hoped will be “Sarasota’s Central Park.”

Municipal officials will cut the ribbon to open the city’s newest park at 1pm.

This family-oriented public party will feature music by a variety of bands to include the Suncoast Concert Band, Schmitz Brothers, Radio Free Carmela and the Transmitters & Big Night Out. Other activities include clowns, children’s crafts, face-painting, kite flying, pet blessings and exhibitions at the Skateboard Park and Tennis Courts. A wide assortment of food will be available. The event will finish off with the Sarasota Film Festival’s Moonlight Movie “ Night at the Museum ” starting at dusk.

The center piece of the celebration is the park itself, with thousands of new shrubs, hundreds of new trees, fountains, walking and jogging trails and the outdoor performing arts venues.

Payne Park is located just south of Ringling Boulevard, and west of School Avenue. Some of the activity will occur in the air- conditioned Payne Park Auditorium.

Admission is free and parking is available at the park, and in the Sarasota County parking garage adjacent to the park.

The land was donated to the city early in the Twentieth Century, and previously hosted a baseball stadium and mobile home park. But the Payne Family’s intention was acreation of a public park and after nearly a century that dream is coming true.

Last year, more than a thousand people attended the celebration following the ground breaking for the new park on a rainy Labor Day Saturday. They’ve watched the construction progress, and are eager to see the result. This year, thousands more are expected to attend the opening. Join us in helping celebrate a civic milestone – the opening of the New Payne Park.
For more information, contact The Alta Vista Neighborhood Association at 993-3159