A July debut for L.A.’s Grand Park

June 27, 2012 

Final preparations, including new signs, are being made for next month's Grand Park opening.

After two years of construction, the first segment of Los Angeles’ new Grand Park is set to open in the final days of July, a milestone in the revitalization of downtown that will be celebrated with a nationally-promoted dance celebration.

The first two blocks of the park—from Grand Avenue to Hill Street—will be dedicated by civic leaders on Thursday, July 26, near the spectacularly restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain. But the big coming out party is scheduled for Saturday, July 28, with a public inaugural coinciding with National Dance Day, an event founded by producer Nigel Lythgoe, who co-created the hit TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.” Tonight, Lythgoe is scheduled to promote the Grand Park dance celebration on his Fox network show.

“The park gives us a lovely setting to encourage all members of the community to get up, move and get healthy at the same time,” Lythgoe said in a statement.

The entertainment will be presented by The Music Center, which was recently selected by the Board of Supervisors to oversee park operations during its first three years. “This event will be a great example of the type of fun, interactive and entertaining activities Grand Park will host for years to come,” said Thor Steingraber, vice president of programming at The Music Center.

Also involved in the opening-weekend events will be The Dizzy Feet Foundation, a non-profit group founded by Lythgoe and other dancers and actors to “support, improve, and increase access to dance education” in the U.S. The entertainment is scheduled to include a performance by Cirque du Soleil. (See full L.A. County announcement here.)

When completed, Grand Park will span four blocks—from Grand Avenue near the Music Center to Spring Street, across from City Hall. The final two blocks of the park are scheduled to open in late summer or early fall. Only in recent days has Grand Park come into full public view as work crews removed the dark sheeting from a warren of chain link fences. Besides the fountain, the park will feature an event lawn, gardens and walking paths.

The newly restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain.

Posted 6/27/12

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