Beaverton is having a party this weekend and everyone is invited. Finally! The fountains are open and finished just in time for the gorgeous summer we know is coming eventually. The grand reopening is this Saturday, May 7 from 4pm to 8pm and the festivities are going to be amazing.

First of all, for anyone who has been living on Mars for the past year,  it’s located in City park, which is the center of civic life in downtown Beaverton. You’ve got the library on one side, the farmers market in the middle on Saturdays in season and of course, the fountain. What more could any city want? Any number of important cultural events take place in the park from Mother’s Day weekend to the end of November. These things, things like the 4th of July concert, Ten Tiny Dances and Flicks by the Fountain, have become fundamental to the civic life of the city. 

Newer residents of Beaverton may be surprised to know there was a time in the not so distant past when the park didn’t exist. Originally the property where the library is now had been the site of City Hall until it moved to Griffith Drive in 1986. The area that is now the park holding the fountain had been an area of single family homes until they were torn down about the same time. Around this time the city decided they needed to develop a spot that residents and visitors alike could identify as the “civic core” and the idea of the city park was born. 

Fountain At the heart of summer
The fountain at the heart of summer

The fountain came later. It was built with money leftover from construction of the library. The fountain was one of the first public art projects approved by the Beaverton Arts Commission.  It was begun in 1998 when funds were approved for its construction opening in 2001. A 2013 Oregonian article described it saying, “In a city that lacks a definable center, the Beaverton City Park Fountain becomes the heart of the city in the summer.” 

But there was a problem. The darn thing leaked. Badly. Consistently. Expensively.  Maintenance crews couldn’t keep up with the repairs and the inner works were difficult to access underground. In 2020 the repairs and renovations required to upgrade the fountain were begun. Those repairs were completed last fall but it wasn’t a great time to hold a party so the city waited.

That time, party time, has finally arrived.  And what are we celebrating? Just take a look. The fountain has jets and lights for everyday fun and music for special occasions. The splash pad is new and the water is treated to meet the standard required for wading pools so kids and kids at heart can play safely. The city would rather you didn’t let your dog run through it but they understand if it happens now and again.

Come Saturday the enthusiasm Beaverton has for its park and its fountain will find expression in music, food, song, and dance. Mayor Beaty will cut the ribbon at 4:00 P.M. officially kicking off the celebration. 

Cooling off in the spray
Cooling off in the spray

Entertainment for everyone!  Artists and performers will be there. Magical door artists will showcase the process they used to develop their projects, the magical doors, which will come into their own later this year with the Flicks by the Fountain in August. Bubble artists will be on hand to create the most ephemeral of artistic creations. Dance troupes such as Ballet Folkorico, MVP Dance Elite and others will perform. Every celebration needs its celebrities. This one will feature Aquaman and Ariel who will be looking for photo opportunities with willing kids and, one assumes, willing kids at heart..  

And for heaven’s sake, don’t worry about missing dinner. There will be lots of food. Lupita’s Ochoa’s tacos and  Whabii with its dishes from Mexico and El Salvador will be on hand as will vendors of  bubble tea and frozen treats.  

As the evening wears on Bright Heart Circus, the LED circus show will dazzle the audience with illuminating acts. Across the street on the library lawn the Beaverton Civic Theater will be leading participants in a musical workshop using water glasses and pencils. The library, for its part, will be helping people make their own bookmarks and even giving away a book while supplies last (so get there early). The Sabers Guild, a volunteer Star Wars cosplay group, will perform lightsaber shows in which children can participate – as long as a parent or guardian signs a consent form.

Parking may be a problem as SW Hall from SW 5th Street to SW 3rd street will be closed from 2:30 P.M. to 9 P.M. so be advised. Consider public transportation if you’re not close enough to walk. TriMet buses numbers 52, 76 and 78 would be the best ones to take. The City recommends parking in the library lot for people who drive but obviously, that space is limited. 

Hope to see you there!