Have you seen the new park?

The fountains are computer programmed and can be set to music. They can also erupt in a specific sequence depending on the program.  - Photo by Tracey Cooper
The fountains are computer programmed and can be set to music. They can also erupt in a specific sequence depending on the program.
— image credit: Photo by Tracey Cooper

This past weekend Bremerton rewrote the travel books.

It went from having nothing mentioned to having one of the most impressive open spaces in the Northwest.

Its Harborside Fountain Park opened Saturday to crowds, many of who got their first look at the destination park. A reception occurred the day before and gave local leaders a sneak peek at the serene oasis, which took nearly five years to complete.

Mayor Cary Bozeman called the more than 2-acre park, which is nestled between the Bremerton ferry terminal and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, a “place of joy and a place of rest downtown.”

Bozeman and other dignitaries spoke May 4 to a crowd of more than 400 people. The reception was a rehearsal of sorts for the park’s official opening Saturday.

Will Maupin, city council president and former shipyard employee, said the project had a personal meaning to him. He credited Capt. Art Clark, former commander for the shipyard for getting the idea rolling more than 15 years ago.

“If it weren’t for his vision the park wouldn’t exist,” Maupin said.

He also credited the city council for having faith in a plan where details weren’t always available.

He said the finished product went far beyond his expectations.

“I thought we’d move the fence bak, put in a little bit of grass and hand it over to the city,” Maupin said.

“This is the latest and far from the last successful project for Bremerton,” he said.

The “man behind the park” Gary Sexton, the city’s director for economic development, also addressed the crowd gathered at the refurbished Building 50. He credited US. Congressman Norm Dicks (D-Belfair) and State Rep. Frank Chopp (D-Seattle), both Bremerton natives, for securing funding for the park.

“Can you believe this is Bremerton,” Chopp asked.

The park is the first phase of the project. The second phase, a Memorial Plaza, is set for construction following the completion of the Bremerton tunnel project.

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