A quick shout-out to PARTA as they officially opened the doors to the Kent Central Gateway this week in grand style.
Never let it be said that PARTA can’t multi-task. On Monday of this week, in addition to their day jobs of running a regional bus system, PARTA took a couple of hours to unveil their shiny new PARTA parking garage/bus station/bike hub/pedestrian center in downtown Kent featuring a series of well-deserved congratulatory remarks and rounds of applause.
PARTA has been a great partner to the Kent community in the downtown redevelopment and I can now say that they also know how to throw a great grand opening party — lunch, hors d’oeuvres, drinks (non-alcoholic), paparazzi, celebrity guests, party tent, and the musical accompaniment of a small strings section.
I’ve heard from many corners of Kent that for all the good things going on in Kent, Kent has a knack for not taking the time to celebrate its success. Maybe it’s our mid-western humility or prevalence of academic critical thinking that holds us back — but either way, PARTA broke down that wall and celebrated in style this week, inviting everyone to the party.
A great cast of characters showed up and offered their cheers of support like it was open mic night. As always, Congressman Tim Ryan moved the crowd with his insights and observations, and the rest of the speaker line-up echoed the same themes of collaboration, partnership, boot-strapping, and dreaming big.
It took a village to get this downtown revitalization rolling and it’s great having the steady and reliable hands of PARTA behind the wheel driving this party bus.
In preparation for the grand opening, KSU helped assemble a great video mash-up for what it took to go from blight to a signature new PARTA building. It’s definitely a keeper.