This event will not be a frustrating mess!This event will not be a frustrating mess!">
This event will not be a frustrating mess!

Fans of Jimi Hendrix and of parks will be pleased to learn that a press release just arrived at Stranger HQ, announcing that the grand opening of the long awaited Jimi Hendrix Park—featuring excellent local bands, speakers, and other parky all-ages events—will take place this Saturday, June 17:

Seattle Parks and Recreation, Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation and the Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park invite the community to join in the grand opening celebration of Jimi Hendrix Park on June 17, 2017 from noon to 5 p.m. Music fans, neighbors and families are invited to spend the day immersed in art and music in celebration of the $2.2 million park improvement project. The event is free and will be held in the 2.5-acre park named in honor of hometown musical icon located adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle’s Central District at 2400 S. Massachusetts St.

More details after the jump.

The newly installed central shelter, a soaring sculpture reminiscent of butterfly wings, now anchors Jimi Hendrix Park. Phase one or “Little Wing” opened in October 2016 following a year of construction that reimagined the park as a tribute to the music and artistry of Jimi Hendrix.

New park amenities include a grand entrance and stairway adorned with Jimi’s signature at the corner of Massachusetts and 25th Avenue South. A walkway toward the central plaza incorporates a timeline of Jimi’s life and career embedded in the pavement. Lyrics from timeless Hendrix songs, “Little Wing and “Angel” are etched into a purple ribbon along the timeline. New plantings include numerous trees as well as four rain gardens with native plants and a butterfly garden with flowering shrubs to improve environmental sustainability. Also new are an informational kiosk and bike racks.

A brief program and ribbon cutting with public officials and Janie L. Hendrix, Jimi’s sister and the founder and director of the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, will open the celebration at noon Saturday. The stage then will be turned over to our master of ceremonies, Michael Wansley and local performers who will rock the afternoon away. Featured artists include: School of Rock, Henry Cooper, Peace & Red Velvet, The Hollers, Grace Love, Ayron Jones, and Youth Speaks poets Carlynn Newhouse and Azura Tyabji. In addition to the performances, families can enjoy food trucks, an instrument “petting zoo,” chalk art contest and youth art activities all afternoon until 5 p.m. This event is generously supported by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

The Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park Committee, Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation and Seattle Parks and Recreation collaborated on creating the park as a welcoming and inspiring community gathering space, as well as a place for fans of Jimi’s music to celebrate his indelible contributions to the music world. Park design by Murase Associates of Seattle was inspired by the music and art of Jimi Hendrix, and included a public participation process involving the neighborhood. Contractor ERRG of California has led the construction process, and the construction of the Central Shelter was completed by Argent Fabrication of Seattle. Funding was raised from many generous individuals as well as grants and donations, including the Seattle Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund and Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund and Building for Culture, a partnership between 4Culture and King County. Other major donors include:

· Hard Rock International
· KISW Radio
· Janie L. Hendrix
· King Conservation District
· Northwest African American Museum
· Seattle Parks Foundation
· Fender Musical Instruments Company
· Experience Hendrix L.L.C.
· Authentic Hendrix LLC
· Monterey International Pop Festival
· Nisqually Indian Tribe Charitable Fund
· Sony Music Entertainment
· Neighborhood Park & Street Fund

The mission of the non-profit Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation and the volunteer advisory group Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park is to create a community space inspired by the extraordinary life and musical legacy of Seattle native Jimi Hendrix. The park is designed as a gathering place for individuals of diverse backgrounds and ages to celebrate cultural heritage, experience community pride, and enjoy innovative educational programming in partnership with the neighboring museum. The park is envisioned as a space that will motivate youth and others to explore music and art, and strengthen the cultural pulse of the Emerald City as a primary focal point for multi-cultural events, gatherings, and activities for the community. To learn more about the project, please visit the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation website, www.jimihendrixparkfoundation.org.