We are getting more information concerning the events that will take place for Metro's Grand Opening Celebrations for our new light rail system. On Saturday morning, December 27th, there will be a "Ribbon Cutting" ceremony in the morning for "Mayors, Dignitaries etc." You know, the really cool people. After the private (see: not open to the public) ceremony, the mayors will depart to their respective cities where the "real" fun will begin. It is my understanding that the free rides will begin for the public at 10:00 am on Saturday the 27th. Tempe will have a large celebration at the 5th St and College Station. We mentioned that Roger Clyne will be performing and recently we heard that the "Chris Parker Project" will be performing as well but have not yet been able to confirm as the date is not mentioned on their web site. I will say, our source is pretty darn close to the project. 🙂
In addition to "big entertainers", there will be a ton of vendor involvement. ie: local businesses, mostly those that have dealt with the construction. Metro is allowing them to set up booths to let people know they are there. (free of charge) In Tempe, 3rd Street will be shut down and there will be a bunch of food, festivities and even a "Beer Tent." Sorry, I don't have the exact location of the beer tent (yet) but I do know that there will not be alcohol at the booths near the stops. (for obvious safety and liability reasons)
Other items of interest we have been told about are a history of the light rail project, a possible mock up of the new light rail bridge, and a story of how the light rail line was built that can show the enormity of the project. They are also talking about including a display called the "Dig Through Time" discussing some of the archaeological findings from during the construction of the project.
At the Dorsey Ln. / Apache Blvd Station there will be several "safety themed" events with a fire truck, police officers, McGruff the Crime Dog, a "bouncy house" and a lot of really good safety information for the communities. Further East at the Price Rd / Apache Blvd station, we have been told there will be a "Hispanic cultural event" along with a lot of neighborhood involvement.
Phoenix and Mesa will have a ton of festivities as well and we will try to update you on events as we hear more. One really cool group called the "Midtown Museum District" is planning a great way for their community to get involved. Take a look to see their plans for Metro's Grand opening as well.
Soon, Metro will be providing "Ride Guides" designed to let people know what types of events, entertainment and businesses are involved at each stop. I have asked to be notified as soon as the guides are available so we can share the information.
Remember, rides are FREE until January 1st! Get out there and participate in the celebrations and make sure you ride the line to get familiar with the system and all it has to offer. "Your Life Is On The Line!" Enjoy it…