The grand opening of the new Sarasota Bay Park overlooking Sarasota Bay is just another reason to justify why U.S. News & World Report ranked Sarasota the #1 city in which to live in Florida, and No. 9 overall on the annual Best Places in America and # 1 in Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The first of several phases, Bay Park’s initial debut will commemorate a new cultural hub in the heart of the Florida’s greatest city and is expected to serve as a catalyst for economic activity, increasing nearby property values and attracting residents and tourists. The Bay Park will be the only major amenity in the City of Sarasota that will be open, accessible, free and welcoming to everyone in the community. The park will become a common ground, a gathering place where the community can come together.

At an estimated cost of $150 million for a multi-phase project, the redeveloped of the Bay Park Phase I (14 acres) will ultimately be transformed by 2030 into an iconic 53-acre public park on beautiful Sarasota Bay that will feature a welcome center, leisure recreation space, picturesque nature trails, mangrove walk, kayak launch, an event lawn, and children’s playground. The implementation of Phase 2 will include a Municipal Auditorium, the dockside South Canal District and sunset boardwalk along the western shoreline of the project. All these components will be a critical piece to the Cultural District of this Phase 2 redevelopment.

Funds to build the project comes from the capital investment divided between private and public funds, the public portion and ongoing operations paid for by the TIF revenue. To date, 90% of the costs for Phase 1 came from private funding. A big shout out to The Gulf Coast Community Foundation that has provided leadership, fundraising support and fiscal administration to guide the project.

For now, it’s Party Time! Downtown Sarasota will be thriving for the next ten days beginning Oct. 14 as residents will enjoy a medley of celebratory events spanning 10 days of free concerts, festivals, family fun walk/runs, food trucks and more for every age group.

Sarasota Events Calendar for details of all events beginning today, Oct. 14, including an impressive lineup of events at the downtown Sarasota Park heralding in the Halloween and Oktoberfest celebrations, ethnic foods, and multicultural festivals, all characteristic of the multi-ethnic population in which Sarasota is known.

Advance registration required for certain events; 10daysatthebay.org

Celebration Events at a Glance, including Signature Events:

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