By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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It's a party that at least one business owner near the completed downtown esplanade overlooking Port Angeles Harbor hopes will not be the last.
“The goal is that this will introduce [the community] to the first of many block parties down here,” said Edna Petersen, owner of Necessities and Temptations gift shop at the intersection of West Railroad Avenue and North Laurel Street.
Petersen, who serves on the promotions committee of the Port Angeles Downtown Association, helped organize the esplanade ribbon-cutting and block party, which will be co-hosted by the city and the downtown association.
The ceremony will be from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Captain's Plaza area of the esplanade, on the west end near where Railroad Avenue and North Oak Street connect, said Nathan West, the city's community and economic development director.
During the ceremony, locally owned contractors and design firms involved in the esplanade project will be thanked, he said, adding that it will serve as an introduction to the city's plans for the beginnings of a new park, christened West End Park, between the esplanade and the Valley Creek estuary.
West said he expects the first phase of the new park, comprising a stretch with two small beaches, to go out to bid by early 2014.
Petersen said the block party will feature a celebratory cake, radio-controlled plane and car demonstrations from Pacific Rim Hobbies on Railroad Avenue, and food from Smugglers Landing and Next Door Gastropub.
Next Door will donate the proceeds of its $3 tacos to Healthy Families of Clallam County, while Smugglers Landing will donate its proceeds to the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society, Petersen said.
Humane Society representatives will be on hand with animals for adoption, while Necessities and Temptations will host face-painting and glitter tattoos, Petersen added.
Next Door will host local folk acoustic guitarist and songwriter Mickey Burnett at the block party, pub co-owner Justin Tognoni said.
Primo Construction, based in Carlsborg, started work on the esplanade project last October and has since built a concrete promenade running parallel to Railroad Avenue and improved the surfaces of both the avenue and Oak Street.
Petersen said the esplanade, which opened to the public in August, will serve as a new venue for block parties and other events that showcase the beauty of Port Angeles and the surrounding landscape.
“The view [from the esplanade] is extraordinary,” Petersen said.
“The water is serene, and the mountains are majestic.”
There's also an electric car charger in the area.
The parking area on Oak Street also includes the westernmost electric-car-charging station on the North Olympic Peninsula.
The device joins a handful of existing dedicated electric-car-charging stations in Clallam and Jefferson counties, all free for the public to use but maintained by private business owners.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.