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Miamisburg will celebrate the grand opening of the $5.5 million Riverfront Park project on Friday

May 5 – Miami is getting ready to celebrate a $5.5 million renovation of Riverfront Park this Friday, an idea that has been in the works for more than two decades.

The year-long project was “a complete transformation” of about 17 acres of land between the Main Street business district and the Great Miami River, said Parks and Recreation Director Ryan Davis.

Riverfront Park now features a 7,600-square-foot playground, along with a pavilion, ping pong tables, picnic tables, a splash pad, swinging benches overlooking the Great Miami River and a permanent amphitheater with speakers and lighting, Davis said. It also offers “plenty of open green space”, a redesigned recreation trail, 92 additional parking spaces and more than 90 trees planted throughout the park.

“The park was originally intended to be the anchor tenant of Miamisburg’s thriving downtown area,” Davis said. “The goal is to increase the amount of time residents, visitors and event attendees spend downtown visiting our diverse selection of retailers and restaurants. For those who saw Miamisburg as they biked, ran or walked along the downtown Great Miami River Recreational Trail, now the park invites them to one of Ohio’s best downtowns.”

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Downtown Miamisburg has experienced economic growth since the idea for the park was shared more than two decades ago, he said.

“That development continues with new businesses entering the market, and long-standing establishments like Bullwinkle’s Top Hat Bistro investing in their businesses (by building) their new patio space overlooking the park,” he said. “Miami residents now have a park that will be home to many events, festivals and concerts, but will also be a great place to enjoy lunch, a walk or a game with family and friends.”

Miamisburg officials say the new components create “a new front door” in the community and will draw more people to the park and benefit businesses throughout the city’s downtown.

John Forman, who bought Bullwinkle’s restaurant in 2006, said he wouldn’t have spent nearly $750,000 converting the space behind the restaurant into a patio for the 2023 season without Miamisburg investing in the park area.

Forman said the improvements will ensure Riverfront Park remains a destination that area residents can enjoy.

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“Summer concerts are going to be a big thing,” he said. “It’s just a nice gathering place for the community, both kids and adults. It’s basically the anchor of downtown in my opinion, especially for the summer season, along with all the investment in downtown.”

The improved Riverfront Park has “far exceeded” its original vision, Davis said.

“It turns out to be even more vivid and valuable in real life than on paper,” he said. “The fact that the community has been actively involved with the park in recent weeks underlines its true value and demonstrates the significant impact this investment in the community will have to improve the quality of life for residents, visitors and businesses.”

The community’s excitement, involvement and anticipation for the project underscore its successful transformation into an inviting space that exceeds all previous expectations, Davis said.

“Overall the project was completed on budget and on time, thanks in no small part to the contractors who worked on the project, the community who supported the project financially and we had a lot of good construction weather last year,” he said.

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The Miamisburg Community Foundation launched an initiative last year to raise at least $1.5 million to fund the Riverfront Park and Sycamore Trails improvement projects. The foundation accepts general donations at various levels of funding. In addition, memorials can be sponsored for $250 or $500 each, trees for $1,000 each, benches for $2,500 each. The parks also offer many options for naming rights.

So far, more than $780,000 has been committed to the Riverfront Park project, city officials said.

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IF YOU GO

WHAT: Grand opening of Riverfront Park

WHERE: 1 Water Street, Miamisburg

WHEN: Friday, May 10 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

DETAILS: Featuring a ribbon cutting ceremony, silent disco, traveling playground and food trucks.

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