On Friday, June 3, a Traverse City pop-up park will take over Lot O, located adjacent to the Omelette Shoppe at the corner of Cass and State streets. The parking lot will be landscaped, decked with tables and patio furniture, and decorated with lights. The transformed setting will provide an open area for locals and visitors to mingle and enjoy family activities.

The new downtown event, My Civic Square, is a collaboration between the City of Traverse City, Traverse City Parking Services and the Traverse City DDA. According to Rob Bacigalupi, executive director of the DDA, the inspiration for the civic square came from a suggestion by City Commissioner Gary Howe to promote ideas for parks in the city’s master plan. The event is designed to demonstrate to Traverse City the advantages of having a civic square in the community.

What differentiates the civic square from other city parks is its location. The pop-up park is meant to attract more people to the downtown area by giving them a place to socialize and get involved with community events while also enjoying all that downtown Traverse City has to offer.

“[Our] goals include informing and engaging the public on the city’s master plan, [to] broaden thinking about future uses of our parking lots, and to have some fun,” Bacigalupi says.

The pop-up park will run from Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 5 kicking off with a presentation and review of the city’s master plan. Plenty of activities will take place along the course of the weekend, including brown bag lunches, games, live music, and art and photo competitions. Many of these events are sponsored by local Traverse City businesses and organizations including Cherry Republic, Crooked Tree Arts Center, the TC Picnic Club, and the TC Arts Commission. There will even be an outdoor screening of The Princess Bride, presented by Bike-In TC.

The pop-up park will only be here for one weekend so be sure to visit while you can! Afterward, the parking lot will go back to its regular use. “At this time, we have no specific plans to create a pop-up park in the future,” Bacigalupi says. However, public feedback on the park and the city’s master plan will be monitored, and if the civic square idea proves popular, plans for more downtown parks may develop in the future.

Pop on down to My Civic Square for a weekend of fun with the Traverse City community!

The new Traverse City pop-up park, My Civic Square, will take place in Lot O at the corner of Cass and State streets.

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Photo(s) by Kathryn Davis