Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy reopens Tuesday morning

Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy reopens Tuesday

GILROY, Calif. - UPDATE 9/3/2019 11:45 a.m. Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy has reopened to the public more than a month after a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

"We want to come back and reclaim it. As the pastor said, we want to take it back," Gilroy resident George Minerva said.

A moment of silence was held at a temporary memorial site to show respect for the victims of the shooting.

"It means a lot to those individuals that are coming here, and are able to stop and reflect about the victims and their own lives and how they're moving forward," Gilroy mayor Roland Velasco said.

The memorial is landscaped with a wooden fence that has 16 stakes to represent everyone injured in the shooting. At the front of the display sits three rocks to represent the three young people, Stephen Romero, Keyla Salazar and Trevor Irby, who lost their lives.

First responders, the police chief, mayor and the people of Gilroy stood together. Many residents simply said they just needed to be there today.

"An event that kind of marked the beginning again," Leslie Smith said.

It's been five weeks of resilience that residents say is far from over in their city.

"People at events just being very tender with each other, caring and hugging. This is another healing piece. It's just part of the process," Minerva said.


PREVIOUS STORY: More than a month after a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Christmas Hill Park will reopen to the public on Tuesday.

The park was the site where the festival was held. The city of Gilroy will open the park at 8 a.m., and as part of the reopening, there will be a moment of silence at the temporary memorial site at 10:30 a.m. The memorial site is under a large palm tree on the northeast section of the Ranch side of the park. The city is inviting the community to participate in the moment of silence to show respect for the victims of July's mass shooting.

Miller Road and park trails will be open to the community, but access to the grass will be limited to let newly planted grass seed establish.

For more information, you are asked to call the Recreation Department at 408-846-0460.

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