TWIN FALLS — More than 100 residents gathered Friday on the corner of Main Avenue and Hansen Street for the unveiling of the new Twin Falls Downtown Commons.
People convened near the new community mural, which featured art ranging from scenic imagery to cartoonish flying potatoes.
Before the speeches began, professional BASE jumper Miles Daisher parachuted into the street to kick off festivities.
Urban Renewal Agency Executive Director Nate Murray was the event’s first speaker. He lauded the Commons as a place for community.
“We’ve erected a venue that reconnects us,” Murray said.
Murray has been involved with planning the Downtown Commons since 2014. The final designs were submitted last spring.
Several common themes popped up in speeches given by community leaders: community, a celebration of the past and a vision for tomorrow.
Dave Lamure Jr., sculptor of the Commons’ new John Hayes statue, spoke about his inspiration for the statue.
The sculpture looks toward the future, he said, and it’s ultimately about the citizens of Twin Falls.
“I know this place has heart,” Lamure said. “I know that Twin Falls has a vision.”
Mayor Shawn Barigar gave the final speech of the afternoon. He said that the Downtown Commons is a place where the city can come together.
“It’s a place you want to stand in on a hot Friday afternoon and listen to boring speeches,” Barigar said.
When Barigar finished, the ribbon was cut and the statue of John Hayes was revealed.
The fountains turned on immediately after, and without a moment’s hesitation, kids ran in to escape the 90-degree heat.
Lyric Howell, 5, was shy at first, but with help from her older sister Amanda Howell, she headed into the splash pad. After, Lyric said she made some new friends.
Amanda Howell said her family moved to Twin Falls 12 years ago. Since then, she’s seen the town blossom.
“Downtown used to kind of be a dump,” she said. “It’s great now. I’m really impressed.”