Park(ing) Day event picks up traction 35 groups beautify Toledo's streets
BY TANYA IRWIN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
The Uptown Association's Park(ing) Day was back and bigger than ever Friday with groups transforming parking spaces into temporary creative park installations.
The number of participants increased from 27 last year to 35 this year and the downtown Toledo area of the one-day event along Adams Street more than doubled, said Julie Champa, executive director of the Uptown Association.
"We hope to expand it even more next year," said Ms. Champa, adding that the Uptown Association has grown 40 percent in the last year to more than 80 members.
The idea began in California in 2005 when a single-metered parking space was turned into a temporary public park in an area of San Francisco.
Participation fees, which raised funds for the Uptown Association, were $100 for nonprofit organizations and $200 for for-profit organizations.
Sylvania-based Root Inc. turned its parking space into a table top, the Creation Station, with interactive props to invite the audience into the space to build, create, draw, and have fun. It included a giant Jenga set with inspirational words written on the pieces as well as a giant Polaroid picture frame with a dry-erase surface at the bottom for people to write on for a photo op.
Other groups that took over spaces included the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority, Mercy College, the University of Toledo, Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, and Metroparks of the Toledo Area.
"I hate to just pinpoint just one or two because everyone had such great ideas," Ms. Champa said.
The Toledo School for the Arts brought back its human manequins, spray-painted in gold this year. Manhattan's, 1516 Adams St., had its dock back for a second year, complete with a boat.
"It's been a real free-flowing kind of event," Ms. Champa said.
The Uptown Association will continue the community fun with several upcoming events, including a Zombie Crawl on Oct. 26 which will include face painting so everyone can be a zombie, and a tent party.
On Nov. 17, the association is to be host for the Indy Arts Fair, a juried art show with 40 vendors.
Contact Tanya Irwin at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6066.