Dozens of Anacortes children carried a paper chain around a new playground, built in five days by more than 1,000 volunteers, then the kids rushed onto the playground they designed before it was officially opened Sunday evening.
It was practically a carnival atmosphere as kids waited for the 5 pm opening, then waited longer when the opening was pushed back to 5:30 to allow volunteers to make last-minute finishing touches. Kids got cookies and cotton candy.
A quartet of the Anochords sang as kids strung the paper chain all the way around the playground.
The children climbed over the various sections of the 15,000 square foot playground, designed with safety features such as one foot of chips as the playground base. Much of the playground is fenced with pickets with the names of contributors on them.
Volunteers worked 3 four-hour shifts a day for five days to build what is truly a community park. Contributors donated $165,000 to pay expenses, local businesses donated time and equipment, and volunteers worked hours and hours.
Crews used 40,000 screws, 500,000 pounds of nails, 25,000 board feet of lumber and fiberboard and 424 cubic yards of chips as protective ground cover.