I Envision Riverfront Revision

Jake Tapley

Recently, through an act of spontaneous ambition, I went to go check out Smothers Park in Owensboro, Ky. Having only been opened for a little more than a month now, the park has already brought about much festivity to Downtown Owensboro – and rightfully so.

Needless to say, I was quite impressed by the new addition to the city’s riverfront.

The park boasts the Lazy Dayz Playground, a staircase waterfall leading down to the riverbed and fountains with synchronized jets. There are also quite a few bench swings to sit on that overlook the river, heightening the romantic appeal of the park.

But what I find most appealing about this new riverfront establishment is the way in which it is being utilized.

While navigating the Internet to find out more information about the park, I happened to stumble upon an event calendar. It was there that I discovered all of the opportunities that were being made available to the general public. 

Live music and food highlight the scheduled Downtown Date Nights that take place at Smothers Park every Thursday evening. The city has also taken it upon itself to relocate many of the annual events to the riverfront, in hopes of drawing out big crowds.

I couldn’t help but think that this is what Evansville needs.

Now, I am not trying to undermine the new entertainment splendor, The Ford Center. On the contrary, I am very appreciative of what the stadium has done for downtown Evansville. I myself enjoy a good hockey game and look forward to the upcoming Evansville IceMen’s season.

However, as a college student, I don’t always want to fork out the cash needed to purchase tickets and concession stand goodies. Those times are when having a local establishment such as Smothers Park would be beneficial. 

There just aren’t enough inexpensive social events in this town, (aside from the ones that age limitations prohibit me from attending). That is why more money needs to be put forth in the efforts of creating a more expansive riverfront – a crucial step in the process of unifying and solidifying Evansville’s downtown image.