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The return of Promontory Park

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - An aerial shot shows the festivities during the grand reopening ceremony on Saturday, May 21.

Promontory Park hadn’t seen many visitors since its two-year closure, but that changed this past weekend.

On Saturday, May 21, Estacada residents gathered at the marina for updates about the project from Portland General Electric. The Aspen Meadow Band played a variety of songs for visitors while they explored the new marina, enjoyed complimentary food, interacted with local vendors and had their faces painted by clowns.

The park had been closed while PGE worked on fish passage projects and updated recreational facilities as a part of a relicensing agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

During the closure, a surface passage was built at the marina and transported to the North Fork Dam. The passage allows juvenile salmon and steelhead to swim through a pipe that bypasses the North Fork, Faraday and River Mill dams to continue their journey downstream.

PGE implemented several recreational improvements during the closure.

Updates to the park include new docks, an expanded patio area and six new cabins in the campground. Additionally, the boat launch area has been expanded, and there is a new kayak and canoe launch area. Jae Chun operates the marina’s remodeled restaurant and store, and Jason PoVey is the force behind the marina’s new outdoor Hawaiian grill. ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Sprout the clown is all smiles while blowing bubbles at Promontory Park's grand reopening ceremony.

Leaders from the city and PGE were pleased with the updates.

“It’s really a change in scenery,” said Brad Jenkins of PGE. “Before, it was like a shipyard. It’s a fabulous revamp.”

Jenkins said the company was pleased to partner with the community for the recreational updates.

“We want to keep that link strong,” he said. “This is a really good example of that partnership. It will be a great facility for years to come.”

Mayor Brent Dodrill said he was excited about the possibilities for the marina.

“It’s a great asset for the community,” he said.

Chun shared this excitement. He believes the marina’s new outdoor patio will be particularly valuable. The area features outdoor seating, a fire pit and a stage.

“I really like that people can sit and look out at the river while they enjoy their food,” he said.

Chun believes the new marina will be ideal for community gatherings. He’s partnered with Jordan Winthrop to host a new event, the Estacada Water Festival, at the location.

The festival is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20, and will feature a variety of competitive events, activities for children, live music and a beer garden. Competitions will include stand-up paddle board relay races, milk carton boat races, a log rolling match and a boat shine and show off.

Additionally, PoVey plans to host a Hawaiian luau once a month.

The area features several booths for vendors along the water. Chun and PoVey have said they plan to give local vendors first priority at these booths during events.

Chun is excited about the influence he believes the new gathering place will have on Estacada.

“I think it will be easy for the town to have a more vibrant outlook because we have something unique like this,” he said.

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