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Kellogg Park set for party

A real wingding is planned replete with live entertainment, food tastings and a ribbon-cutting for the official opening of the new Kellogg Park playground in La Jolla Shores on Thursday.

Festivities will be from 4:30 to 8 p.m. with the ceremony at 5 p.m. Retired Channel 10 newsman Loren Nancarrow will emcee the family-friendly event, which will include the award-winning Hullabaloo Band, games, socializing and fun for all at the beach.

Another highlight of the celebration will be a “mini-Taste of the Shores” with refreshments served by restaurants Osteria Romantica, Piatti’s and the Cheese Shop.

La Jolla Shores Association board member Mary Coakley, who spearheaded fundraising for the playground and for a life-size bronze statue of J.J. the Baby Gray Whale rescued by SeaWorld, said completing the playground is just one aspect of a longer-term effort to revitalize and brand the venue.

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Work and fundraising are continuing on J.J., which will be placed at the north end of the park.

“Our major focus is on education and preserving our wonderful marine environment and learning how to be safe in it,” she said. “The theme of the playground and park is respect for the ocean, carrying over what was done on The Map.”

She and Friends of Kellogg Park also raised funds to create the colorful map reflecting sea life in the marine reserve offshore.

Coakley said people involved in the project hope it will “serve as a wonderful educational tool with maximum opportunity for exercise and play value covering a very wide age range.”

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Greg Salmon, a La Jolla Shores Association board member who’s been involved with both projects, hailed them as a cooperative effort.

“It was a great community and a great team effort,” he said. “It’s great for the community to celebrate this with the dedication.”

Salmon added other parts of Kellogg Park may need improvement and he invites suggestions from local residents on what needs to be done and how improvements might be made.

La Jolla Shores playground’s history goes back to the mid-'90s when Friends of Kellogg Park spearheaded creation, funding and construction of the children’s sandy play lot. But, in April 2008, residents woke up to find the play equipment had been removed by the city because it didn’t have the funding to restore it and didn’t want to be liable for it.

A compromise was reached in 2009 with the City Council, which gave La Jolla Shores local control over replacing playground equipment at Kellogg Park, as well as time to complete the $150,000 project.

Event timeline:

– 4:30 p.m.: Music

– 5 p.m.: Ribbon-cutting

– 5:30 p.m.: Hullabaloo, cupcake decorating and face painting

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– 6 p.m.: Tasting begins

– 6:15 p.m.: DJ plays more music

– 8 p.m.: Event ends