Mayor Chris Beutler and members of the Harris family today participated in a rededication ceremony for the Bill Harris Iron Horse Park in Lincoln's Haymarket area. Harris, who passed away in January 2011, was Mayor of Lincoln from 1987 through 1991 and was a State Senator from 1983 through 1987. Harris's wife MarySue and children Ben Hormel Harris and Elizabeth "Buff" Harris-Colarossi unveiled a new bronze tribute plaque to Mayor Harris placed on a brick column at the park's east entrance archway.
The Mayor thanked the Harris family for establishing an endowment fund with the Lincoln Parks Foundation for the future care of the park. He said Harris provided the "visionary leadership" that transformed a former warehouse district into the thriving Historic Haymarket, setting the stage for the Pinnacle Bank Arena and other development in the West Haymarket.
"Now, we are literally building on the foundation of the early vision that Mayor Harris had for the Haymarket," Beutler said. "We are building on his commitment to, and belief in, the enormous potential of this area. We are building an economic engine that all of us - as well as the next generation of Lincolnites - will enjoy for many years to come.
Beutler said Harris also knew that importance of public spaces for festivals and events could take Lincoln to the next level in economic and cultural vitality. "During the Harris Administration, Farm Aid brought thousands of people to Lincoln," he said. "And street festivals that started during the Harris years have inspired the development of new community festival and event spaces throughout the greater downtown area."
More information on Lincoln Parks and Recreation is available at parks.lincoln.ne.gov.