David Olson / Herald Writer
EVERETT — The Everett Events Center will open for a sneak preview on Saturday.
The Everett Public Facilities District and Global Spectrum, the center’s management company, will have a free open house 11 a.m.-4 p.m. that will feature entertainment and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The grand opening of the $71.5 million arena will be Oct. 4, when the Everett Silvertips play their first home hockey game in the new arena.
But events center officials wanted to first offer a free event to the public, said Fred Safstrom, executive director of the facilities district, which runs the center.
"This is a public agency, and we developed this building for the community," Safstrom said. "This is a way to open our doors and say, ‘This is your building. Come on in and take a look.’"
Guests will be able to wander around much of the complex, and will receive a map of the center at the door.
Two stages will feature entertainment ranging from Indonesian dancing to a local rock band. Clowns, a "living statue" and a balloon artist will be among those wandering around, and Silvertips players will sign autographs. Mayor Frank Anderson and members of the public facility district board will officially open the center at 11 a.m. by cutting a ceremonial ribbon.
And that won’t be all. "There will definitely be a few surprises," said Kim Bedier, general manager of the arena for Global Spectrum.
In addition, tickets for Silvertips games and Disney-on-Ice will go on sale at the arena’s ticket window.
There will be a performance by the Seattle Ice Theatre at 12:15 p.m., and a "living statue" will be walking around between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Clowns, a face painter and a balloon artist will make appearances, as well as the Seattle SuperSonics dancers and mascots from the AquaSox, the Sonics, the Seattle Storm and the Everett Parks and Recreation Department.
A mechanical bull will be used for demonstrations, although guests will not be able to ride it. You can see the Silvertips practice from 11 to 11:30 a.m. at the community ice rink, which will be open for free public skating beginning about noon.
The city is putting together "goodie bags" for the first 1,500 visitors, although officials expect twice that many visitors, city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said. The city will fill the bags with coupons or trinkets such as key chains, pens or mugs from local businesses, she said. The deadline for businesses to drop off materials is noon Wednesday.
"We wanted to draw in local businesses to the opening of the events center, and what better way to give exposure to local businesses than put together goodie bags?" Reardon said.
Reporter David Olson: 425-339-3452 or email@example.com.