Mears Park is located on the east side of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota in the Lowertown District. You will find the park in between 5th and 6th streets as well as Sibley and Wacouta Streets.
Mears Park was originally known as “Baptist Hill” due to the fact that it was chosen as the very first location of the First Baptist Congregations’ new chapel. Mears park became a park after Josh Smith who owned the other side of the “Hill” decided to sell his share since it deemed itself too steep for more building. Subsequently, Baptist Hill was leveled and turned eventually turned into St. Paul’s beautiful Mears Park. In the years to follow the value of the land was too high to use residentially and the surrounding areas became a place for warehouses and rail yards alike.
The Lowertown area saw a steep decline in the aftermath of World War 2. Businesses scattered away and left the area quite desolate. However, a resurgence occurred before 1980 when the Mayor at the time George Latimer worked with businesses and through public funding to bring the city back to life. It was during this time that restaurants, shops, offices and apartment buildings started to spring up and nurse the Lowertown District of St. Paul, MN back to life.
Mears Park Events
The Twin Cities Jazz Festival
The 20th Annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival will be held at Mears Park in St. Paul on June 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. There will be a main stage and several side stages with amazing jazz artists throughout the event. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is thought of as one of the coolest events in and around St. Paul throughout the year. The festival is a nonprofit event and free for all ages. The festival ensures stage time for over 100 local youth from around the St. Paul area. They also have headlining musicians from all over the country teaching master classes and musical clinics. Don’t forget to check out the local craft beer tents and food vendors.
Music in Mears
Music in Mears is a summer-long event showcasing local musicians from the greater St. Paul, MN area; as well as artists from around the world while enjoying beautiful Mears Park. The event takes place one night a week. The dates and lineups have not been announced yet but check the park’s website for future information. www.mearspark.com
Friends of the Park
In 1985 the St. Paul Foundation offered funding to start the Friends of the Park program. The program was put in place to preserve and protect the parks of St. Paul, MN. The mission was a “Plan for Parks, Trails, and Open Space” to educate the public on park policies.
Some notable affects the Friends of the Park program has had are those such as an annual tree sale which had added over 6,000 trees to the parks around St. Paul. The Friends led a push to incorporate a gateway connection through St. Paul using trails.
These are just some great things going on in Mears Park. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy in heart of St. Paul, Minnesota.
***BONUS*** If you’re looking for a little known museum that is interesting to kids and adults alike? Visit the Jackson Street Roadhouse Transportation Museum in Downtown St. Paul for an experience you’ll always remember.