DOWNEY - The City of Downey would like to thank everyone who helped make the Discovery Sports Complex grand opening and 4th of July celebration a great success. The event drew thousands of people from around the area.An estimated 1,200 people were in attendance for the morning ribbon-cutting and sports activities. Twenty-four youth teams competed in baseball, softball, football and soccer games to help celebrate the sports park grand opening festivities. Approximately 5,000 community residents attended the evening fireworks show. Many more residents enjoyed the fireworks display from the neighborhoods and parking areas outside the Sports Complex. Mayor Mario Guerra was especially pleased with the all-day event. "My wish was for a memorable day at a special place in our city," he said. "My hope was a fun time for families and kids. My goal was to make sure we had a safe day and that no one was hurt. My dream was for a day that we can all look back on and know it was historic for our city. Every one of these expectations was exceeded and so much more." City officials spent time during the six weeks leading up to the event planning for the big day and finishing the final park improvements. The collaborative efforts of the Police, Fire, Community Services and Public Works departments preparing for the grand opening proved to be very effective. The event was controlled using the same type of management structure as an emergency incident. Thankfully, the event proved to be a safe and enjoyable experience for all who attended and worked at the event. There were no major problems. City staff members were aware of the parking situation and had anticipated a possible overflow of vehicles. Special drop-off only lanes on Clark Avenue were established to help residents reduce their need to carry items long distances. Luckily, the two L.A. County owned parking lots were made available on Imperial Highway. This helped alleviate part of the problem. City transit buses were deployed to assist residents moving from the parking lots on Imperial. The buses also circled the Downey Landing parking lot. At the end of the much-anticipated fireworks show, the crowd quickly dispersed calmly and safely. The city is most grateful for all the sponsors who showed their support. The three major sponsors were Kaiser Permanente who committed $7,000 of event support, Supervisor Don Knabe with $2,000 and Coca-Cola with $5,000 of Coca-Cola products.
********** Published: July 10, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 12