The countdown is on to opening day for Gathering Place; and with just days to go, a major milestone was reached.
Students across Tulsa have been working for months to read two million books by the time Gathering Place opens, and Friday, a sixth-grade class at Union got a big surprise.
LeAnne Taylor: "I have a special announcement, that we wanted to surprise Ariana with, so, Ariana will you come up…We hit the two-million mark on the books!"
Arianna Reagor: "Yeah!"
Ariana Reagor is the Gathering Place Ambassador, and for months she's encouraged more than 30,000 kids to take part in the park's Reading Tree Challenge.
Tulsa students didn't just meet their book goal, they exceeded it, reading almost 300,000 books over their two million book goal.
"I'm speechless," Reagor said.
Park leaders hope to keep the momentum growing once Gathering Place opens.
"There is an event for everybody, there is an activity for everybody, there is an attraction for everybody, any age, any demographic can find something at Gathering Place," said Katie Bullock with Gathering Place. "This represents unifying a city, so, there is just obvious divides in every city, and the mission of this park is to bring people together."
The nearly 70-acre property along the Arkansas River opens September 8, 2018.
"Know before you go, it's a section on our website. We have detailed everything there for you so that you know where to park, where to shuttle, all of the shuttles are free," Bullock said.
Reagor said, “It's going to open their imagination. I know that is for sure because I was pretending to be a princess in the tower the last time I was there."
Tuesday, September 4th, at 8 p.m., News On 6 is giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the multi-million-dollar park before it opens to the public. We'll also have live coverage of the opening day parade.