Irving — The Irving Heritage Society held a virtual meeting with guest speakers Joe Moses, director, and Amy Kinkade, special events supervisor, from the Irving Parks and Recreation Department. The discussion of the Friday, Jan. 8, meeting centered on the Heritage Park’s renovation progress in downtown Irving.
Heritage Park is being expanded. An amphitheater space is being built to allow for public concerts near Main Street. The project is scheduled to be completed in October 2021 with the first large public event occurring Christmas 2021.
While access inside the park is not permitted for safety reasons, the public is able to view the progress from the street.
“The most obvious update is the foundation for the amphitheater has been laid,” Kinkade said. “It is clear how large that area is going to be to allow the people of Irving to enjoy this concert and movie area. We will install a huge LED screen in the back, which will give us the capability to show movies and music. There will also be sound installed. The plan is to be able to do events there at any time without having to bring in sound, lighting, screens, etc.
“We will be doing a tour later as the park is completed. We are excited to bring life to Main Street. We want to support the local businesses in that area of Irving. We know the importance of driving economic activity to that area. We are considering Friday night movie nights or a longer concert series.”
Public parking has been limited along Main Street.
“Some [parking] spaces have been added in the area,” Kinkade said. “We also built a good relationship with the people at First United Methodist Church. They are willing to allow use of their parking lot as long as there is not something scheduled at the church.”
“I am excited about this Heritage Park project,” Moses said. “The city of Irving has done a great job at getting public input about the park and what the community wants. It has been such a long process, and it is exciting that it is getting close to completion. This is a place where memories can be made. It is a location that will be up to date and used for many years to come.”
The park will continue to have a rustic look, featuring the caboose, cabin, old library building, and a gazebo.
“We want this to have an authentic, old time look,” Moses said. “We want this park to look and function differently than the other parks in Irving. The goal is for this park to be a place to meet with family and friends, maybe grab some food on Main Street, and see a concert together.
“We are intentional about not scheduling things in Las Colinas and downtown Irving at the same time. Since the goal is to invite people to Main Street and that area of Irving, we will be mindful of the schedule to ensure that people do not have to choose between an event in Las Colinas and Heritage Park.
“I see Heritage Park as a place that has a lot of programming, more than just ‘special events.’ We want to have continual events to boost downtown. Since we do not have to bring equipment in, we will not have to bring out a lot of staff to put on the event. We will have a place for unique food trucks that will not compete with the restaurants on Main Street, a small seating area, and the library for people to reserve for special events. I see this as a place where people can use the space for a variety of uses.”