SARASOTA, Fla. – October 27, 2022 – 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/
About The Bay
The Bay is a new, signature, public park along Sarasota Bay. Designed to be “one park for all,” The Bay is open and accessible, free and welcoming to the full and rich diversity of the community, now and for generations to come.
The Bay preserves, restores and transforms precious city-owned land along Sarasota Bay into a blue and green oasis – providing a sustainable bayfront gathering place for the community to experience a wide range of park uses, free programs and events.
The park will cost about $150 million and will take between 7-10 years, over 3 or more phases to complete. The Blue Pagoda serves as a welcome center for visitors and an on-site office for The Bay Park Conservancy. For more information or general inquiries about this initiative, please visit www.thebaysarasota.org or call 941-203-5316.
About The Bay Park Conservancy
The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC) was formed as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization in 2019 to implement the master plan approved by the Sarasota City Commission to conserve 53 acres of public land for a signature park on Sarasota Bay. The BPC entered a long-term partnership with the City and will fund, develop, operate, and sustain the park for the benefit of the community, now, and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.thebaysarasota.org.