A grand community celebration in a park befitting of its name

courtesy of Jay Dotson Photography

The morning started off a bit chilly and foggy with the smell of fall in the air. As the tents started to go up, the pumpkins were set up and the kids started arriving in their Halloween costumes, there was a flurry of activity in anticipation of the very first EBCA fall festival and the grand opening of Gemenskap park.

Courtesy of Jay Dotson Photography

In the distance, you could hear a whistle and the sound of a drum beat. The crowd gathered around the center of the park looked to the south and were excited to see the Ballard Marching Band coming up the sidewalk with Lulu the Librarian Fairy in the lead. All the kids in costumes lined up behind the band and an impromptu parade around the park began.


While the kids were painting pumpkins and getting their faces painted, neighbors gathered around the main stage to celebrate the new park. Thank-you to EBCA member from the start, Peter Locke, for being the ring master and emcee for the day and thank-you to Christopher Williams, interim Superintendent of Parks for your kind words. A huge thanks as well to our neighbors, friends and family who have supported our efforts to create this community park throughout the years and who joined together with us on this day to cut the ribbon and to those who were with us in spirit!


  • Jay Dotson Photography for taking pictures of the event. You can view those pictures here.
  • Tripod Coffee for the caffeine kick!
  • Top Pot for donating yummy festive donuts
  • Ballard Market for donating pumpkins, apples, cocoa and cider
  • The Nordic Heritage Museum for teaching us how to pronounce Gemenskap (Yuh-MEN-Skawp).
  • Groundswell NW for being our greatest mentor and fiscal sponsor all these many years!
  • Karen O’Connor from Seattle Parks who secured the permits, made sure officials showed up, found us a face painter, got us extra volunteers and so much more to make this big event happen
  • The EBCA steering committee who helped organize the event, secured donations and volunteered throughout the day. Special thanks to Linda, Holly, Mary Pat, Monica, Steph, Zack, Rachel, Shelby and Andrew!

And one last special thank-you to our Ringmaster/emcee for the day, Peter Locke, who led the coordination for this great event and for having the original idea those many years ago to transform 14th Ave NW into a linear park.  We came together today as a community in a park so aptly name Gemenskap!