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Viewfinder: Riverwalk Grand Opening Photo Gallery

The long-awaited grand opening of Bradenton's Riverwalk took place on Thursday.

Bradenton's $6.2 million Riverwalk project reached fruition on Thursday with a grand opening that drew thousands.

The ribbon cutting ceremony took place at 5:30 p.m. while families enjoyed the water park, playgrounds, skate park, outdoor volleyball courts, live music and more. 

Check out the exclusive Bradenton Patch photo gallery. Have photos of your own? Add them to our gallery!

Tom Tomington October 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM
What a waste of time & money. A beach alternative in a beach town? And a park for skateboarders that are rude and obnoxious and will keep the older folks who want to relax away with language and crime. Once again Bradenton blows it, such a shame
becky October 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM
looks wonderful...I can't wait to get back there to see it in person.
Tony T October 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Good job and a great event ....however I saw MANY people along the walk throughout the night with open beer bottles. I expect they were seen by the slew of city officials at the event and by the numerious police however I saw no action taken....why was that allowed? Really not a good example for the children at the event. I hope is this not at look at the futue and wihat will go on at the park . Is the park alcohol frree? Are there sign posted? Considering that a hugh chunk of the 6.5 M was spent on the skate park the kids using it really did not appreciate the work put into it or what they have. As I stood watching many of the kids did not use the paths but ran their bikes or tramped thur the new landscaping. and mulch...as did some of their parents. I hope you have a large maintainance staff??
Melissa K October 19, 2012 at 02:36 PM
so beautiful. can't wait to go back for a stroll tomorrow with my manatee animal services "foster" dog.
Melissa K October 19, 2012 at 02:38 PM
easy there, party animal!
Toni Whitt (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Great job Jessi capturing all of these wonderful moments. It looks like people were having a great time. I wish I could have been there. I certainly plan to visit the park as often as possible.
Kevin Connelly October 19, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Why can't the City use local companies to provide products and services. There are local companies that offer better products with extended waranties-shame on the City. Kevin C
Toni Whitt (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Hi Kevin, Are you talking about Riverwalk or products and services in general? I know the General contractor for Riverwalk was local. The Skatepark designer and builder is out of Orlando -- and that's specialized work. The city bought the playground equipment from Epcot at a great savings because it is high quality materials.
Sophia October 19, 2012 at 06:35 PM
By the looks of these photos, the design of this park is not made to accommodate those who are unable to walk great distance. I didn't see any seating besides those cement(?) low lying lounge chairs and people sitting along a cement wall. Exactly why I didn't go - between the perhaps long walk from parking and the lack of a place to sit with a huge crowd. Someone please tell me there are plenty of places to sit and parking close by?
judith rogers October 19, 2012 at 07:03 PM
We are excited about the way it could be an attraction. We haven't been there yet. I hope there are adequate places to sit along the whole walk as many seniors cannot walk a mile and a half without resting. What a shame it would be if the many seniors in this area could not use it. Hope to see food vendors set up along the walk.
Toni Whitt (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 07:06 PM
There are benches and even "porch swings" along the way. There are lot of places to sit and enjoy the outdoors. There is also plenty of parking along the way.
Heather Egan October 20, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Really Tom?? How about being appreciative that kids have a place to go and play rather than being bored and having to "think" of things to do that might get them in trouble (ie: vandalize, etc..). And Sophia, get a wheelchair and get out in the sunshine and enjoy the children's laughter or the sight of Dolphins or the sound of the water....don't feel "poor me" because you are immobile or may have a disability that prevents you from being as active as you had previously, you will only be miserable! Thank you to everyone who had their part in making such an awesome place for the people of Bradenton to enjoy.
Tony T October 29, 2012 at 03:42 PM
There seem to a lacks in the enforcement of Riverwalk rules and regulations. First the users of the skate park have no respect for what they have and have already began to abuse the facility and the landcape around the immediate area. And I cannot count how many skateboarders were on Riverwalk in violation of the R&R's posted at the skate facility. There seems to be very few signs posted as to what the park rules and regulations are.....on my many walks I have seen only one on the west side of the Green Bridge? An example of the lack of enforcement at least 4 times this week and as recently as last night around 9:00 pm there was a group of people fishing form the east side of the Green Bridge underpass within feet of the R&R sign which clearly stated "Fishing From the Fishing Pier Only" and each and every member of this group had an open glass beer bottle again per the sign another violation of the R&R. Unless police patrols stop at a certain hour both of this violations should have been noted by any officer on patrol. Unless you want the new Riverwalk to turn into the "old" Riverwalk rules must be enforced
Ann Cumpston October 29, 2012 at 09:06 PM
It's about time! When I was raising my kids there ,all we had was the beach or the mall! It looks really nice!:))
Bruce 'Rudy' Phillips November 17, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Bradenton is NOT a "beach town"! Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Beach, & Holmes Beach ARE "beach towns"!!!
Rudy Jones November 17, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Bradenton is NOT a beach town!!! Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Beach, & Holmes Beach are beach towns!
Rudy Jones November 17, 2012 at 04:42 AM
I will gather to bet that no more than $1.5m went to the actual skatepark construction costs.

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