MISSOULA - Crews are starting to install the latest feature at Caras Park, bringing some color, and comfort to the thousands of people who enjoy the park every summer.
The apprentice crew from Dick Anderson Construction started installing the steel poles Friday morning that will support a new custom canopy, the "finishing touch" on a year of upgrades to the popular destination in downtown Missoula. The 10-triangular "shade sails" will provide a burst of color for the park, but more importantly, some comfort for people who are using the new seating areas installed as part of the upgrades.
"It will be bright and beautiful and a canopy that goes up at the beginning of the season, and then come down at the end of the season. As opposed to being up and down for every single event -- which our staff has been doing for the last 40 years. It's kind of like the ribbon on the gift. And this is a gift to the community. This is the community's park. This is the community's vision for Caras Park, said Downtown Missoula Partnership executive director Linda McCarthy.
The collaborative effort between the Missoula Downtown Partnership, Dick Anderson and the City of Missoula Parks and Recreation leveraged over $100,000 in funding for the installation, and more than $1 million was raised to upgrade the park since 2020.