PARK(ing) Day 2016 Draws 40+ Participants to Create Mini, Urban Parks.


On September 16, Tacoma takes part in an international environmental awareness event called PARK(ing) Day. For seven years Downtown On The Go! has hosted this event  organizing local artists, citizens, and businesses. The  event, sponsored by BLRB Architects, this year drew more than 40 participants who will “park” in select metered spots in Downtown and Hilltop areas and create a variety of interactive spaces.

Spaceworks is going to feature one of its newest projects “Spaceworks Gallery” setting up a temporary art display outdoors. In this white wall, parking spot gallery visitors will be able to experience art from our Artscapes and Creative Enterprise participants. As a part of the larger event, visitors will have a chance to explore this and over 40 other spaces using PARK(ing) Day passports and maps with a chance to win gift certificates to a local business. Downtown On The Go! and RSVP for their PARK(ing) Day Event on Facebook to stay updated.

For those taking a lunch break, there will be food trucks located on Pacific Ave. between S. 11th and S. 12 streets. Come view outdoor installation by Spaceworks Gallery and many other creative participants Friday, September 16th 10am-2pm. Bring your friends to enjoy the interactive experiences together.

We’ve talked with the executive director of Downtown On The Go!, Kristina Walker, about this year’s event:

SW: How many participants are you anticipating?

KW: We have just over 40 businesses, organizations, and individuals signed up to create a park, as well as 3 food trucks. We anticipate nearly 200 people actively participating by walking by each spot. Everyone can participate online by being part of our “People’s Choice” award on our Facebook page.

SW: What are you most excited about in 2016 event?

KW: The best thing about PARK(ing) Day is always the amazing creativity of the participants who create the parks. It’s inspiring to see all the talent here in our community. But the thing I’m most excited about is the conversations. It’s always fun to hear what people have to say about use of public space and to break down misconceptions about who pays for parking. Ultimately, it ends up being a great day to be in downtown Tacoma!

SW: How do you feel this affects Tacoma community?

KW: This event brings people together in a fun, community-based way that is accessible to all. But it also furthers a very important question about public space and what we want our cities to look like. When we think about where we want to live and how we want to get around, it’s about people. And Tacoma is home to some incredible people!

SW: Which participants (or which ideas) stand out to you?

KW: The Urban Gardener always does a great park. The students at Seabury are always creative and energetic. The parks that have activities in them usually draw more people but the really well-designed ones are the ones that stand out to me.

SW: What, if anything, are you doing differently this year?

KW: We’ve got more spots, we’re encouraging more food trucks, and we’ve started a “lending locker” of materials and items to create a park to help people get started. It’s going to be a great day!