By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy will be celebrating the grand opening of the West RiverWalk with a block party Saturday featuring a beer garden, lawn games and live entertainment.
The 20-acre West RiverWalk – located just west of Joe Louis Arena- opened to the general public in mid-July, and has become a popular spot for running on the extra-wide RiverWalk along with fishing, running, soccer games and other outdoor activities.
“The west riverfront is our newest connection,” said Mark Wallace, president and chief executive officer of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, which is working to develop five and a half miles of the Detroit riverfront from the Ambassador to the Belle Isle Bridge. “It really pulls the Corktown neighborhood and southwest Detroit neighborhood into the riverfront.”
By opening the West RiverWalk, the community will have access to the Detroit Riverfront for the first time in nearly 35 years. While the green space is still open and undeveloped, the Conservancy has added the walk, numerous trash receptacles and permanently installed benches. Security cameras and call boxes are also located throughout the property.
While celebrating, the Conservancy will be listening to the community to determine how to develop the property and plan events along the West RiverWalk.
The block party will be from 1-8 p.m. Saturday, at 1801 W. Jefferson between Rosa Parks Boulevard and Joe Louis Arena, just behind the main U.S. Post Office on Fort Street in Detroit. Parking for the event is available on West Jefferson.
Among the events planned for event are a beer garden offering brews from Atwater Brewery, several of Detroit’s most popular food trucks, lawn games and live entertainment. Local musical acts scheduled to perform include Celtic rock band Corktown Popes, rhythm-and blues artist Inohs Sivad and Mariachi Juvenil Detroit, a youth mariachi band from southwest Detroit. Family activities include a fishing clinic presented by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and PNC Foundation, inflatable moon bounces and arts and crafts.
Organizers added that admission to the event and to all activities is free. Beer and food is available for purchase. Outside food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed, and guests are encouraged to picnic on the grounds.
“Detroit was founded at the water,” Wallace added. “This is a homecoming event.”