Gathering Place Adding Final Touches Ahead Of Grand Opening

Friday, September 7th 2018, 6:53 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The grand opening of Gathering Place is Saturday morning, at 10:00. There will be a brief opening ceremony before the park opens for everyone.

The best spot to see it all is on the north end, where the parade comes through and everything happens just before the park opens. There are other entrances on the trails and on the south end, but those will not open until 10 am.

Friday, there was a flurry of last-minute touches all around and inside the park to finish up before Gathering Place’s grand opening.

The grand entrance gates are for Saturday morning only, and it’s where the first children will enter the park.

Special Coverage: Gathering Place

Stages are being built, accommodations made for live television, and hundreds of workers remain on the landscape crews all the way to work on the fireplace at the Williams Lodge.

John Williams Way is busy, but not nearly as busy as it will be Saturday.

"Built up anticipation for quite a while, everyone has been patient with Riverside being closed down, and we appreciate it, but it's time,” said Tony Moore with Gathering Place.

Riverside Drive through the park remains closed until Monday, but on the South end, a temporary parking lot will open Saturday morning. It's not nearly big enough for the expected crowd, so most people will need to plan on taking shuttle buses on opening weekend.

The shuttle buses will run starting 6 a.m., back and forth all day, from the fairgrounds, OSU-Tulsa, and from River Spirit Casino.

"Take your time. Go to one of the lots and take a shuttle in. Don't fight the crowds, just take your time and pace yourself and so we'll get thru this weekend. A lot of logistics, yes, but this is going to be an awesome and special time for everyone," Moore said.

The buses will drop off on the north end but on the south end, where there's limited car parking available, the access into the park will open at 10 a.m.

Tulsa Police will patrol Maple Ridge and nearby neighborhoods to prevent illegal parking.

They expect substantial congestion throughout the area and encourage people to take the buses.