EDITOR’S NOTE: The date of this public event is actually Saturday, March 14. We apologize for any confusion.
Remember the old Hill Ward property in Lakewood? The creepy, graffiti-scrawled, crumbling ruins at Fort Steilacoom Park was demolished once and for all a year ago.
On Saturday, Lakewood will celebrate the transformation of the Hill Ward from one-time Western State Hospital prison farm dormitory, to long-time public nuisance, to a landscaped community setting overlooking Waughop Lake.
The city, county and the state contributed more than $693,000 to restore the property.
The event happens at 4 p.m. at the park, 8200 87th Ave. SW. Organizers say it will be held rain or shine.
I don’t expect an invitation was extended to the Juggalos. They were the group of face-painted thugs — followers of the rap group Insane Clown Posse — who hung out at the Hill Ward In the summer of 2006 and preyed on 23 parkgoers. Lakewood police arrested eight individuals on suspicion of assaults and robberies.
I was never a member of the Juggalos, but I did visit the Hill Ward back in the ’80s when I was a college student at Pacific Lutheran University. A friend and I brought our dates there to spook them. It worked.
Now, as a husband and father of two girls, I will feel much more comfortable visiting the site in its current incarnation.