music in the park san jose

For years, I had a vision of bringing a fun and creative pop-up park to downtown Gilroy, and in October 2022 we, the city council, embraced this idea. The goal was to create a space that would not only beautify our downtown but also serve as a venue for events and gatherings. 

Today, the pop-up park is evolving into a cherished destination for families and community events.

Shortly after, a group of local community members, which included Mr. Dion Bracco, brought a proposal to the city council to dedicate the pop-up park in honor of Donald “Elvis” Prieto, a beloved local artist. With overwhelming support from the council, this dedication will celebrate the memory of a man who brought so much joy to our community.

Having first met Donald in 2006, it was clear from our first encounter that he was a wonderful, caring, funny and amazing individual. His presence in Gilroy was truly impactful, bringing joy, laughter, love, support and a sense of peace to everyone’s lives.

In conversations with some of Prieto’s family members, they shared their heartfelt thoughts about the park being named after Donald:

“He was the heart and soul of many gatherings. Having this park named after him feels like a fitting tribute to his legacy.”

“We are deeply touched by this honor. Donald always aimed to bring people together, and this park will continue his mission.”

“Donald’s spirit will live on in this park, a place for joy and community, just as he would have wanted.”

They expressed immense gratitude for recognizing their beloved family member’s significant contributions to Gilroy.

I, along with the Prieto Family, ask and invite you to please join us on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at 11am for the dedication and the Chamber Ribbon Cutting of the Donald “Elvis” Prieto Park in downtown Gilroy (7347 Monterey St., next to Gilroy Art Center).

Thank you to all who originally supported this project back in 2022, to the community members for advocating for the park’s naming, to those who helped fund the installation of a memorial plaque, and to the entire community for honoring such a remarkable individual who left a lasting impression on many of us.

To Donald, who is watching from heaven, and to the entire Prieto family: Donald, your kindness, talent and spirit were a guiding light in our community. Your legacy will continue to inspire and bring joy to all who visit this park. Your memory will forever be a part of Gilroy, touching lives as you did in person.

Fred M. Tovar, M.Ed.

Gilroy City Council

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