Weaver Park's official grand opening doesn't take place until Saturday afternoon, but its stunning pier jutting into St. Joseph Sound is already buzzing with legions of anglers.
Extending more than 200 yards into the water, the pier is by far the longest in north Pinellas County, complete with angler stations at the west end. Giddy fisherman there this week said trout were plentiful and hearty catfish were to be had.
"It's going to be a shame when everyone learns of this spot. It's not just the fishing. It's really beautiful this far out on the pier," said Mack McKenzie of Dunedin.
McKenzie enjoyed the park's view of and also talked about catching a "good eatin'" flounder off the pier.
Located just north of downtown on Bayshore Boulevard, south of , Weaver Park was acquired by the city in 2008 and opened Dec. 30.
"The fishermen were there within an hour," said Lanie Sheets, a Dunedin parks and recreation official.
The park's west side has about 400 feet of waterfront property, plus picnic benches and educational information displays on native sea life.
Directly across the street on the east side of Bayshore Boulevard is the remainder of the park along the Pinellas Trail. There are about 35 parking spots and more picnic tables.
"It's encouraging that the park is popular already, before the shelters, gazebos and restrooms are completed over the next two years," Sheets said. "People are coming to the park via bicycle or specifically to launch a kayak, or just use it as a starting-stopping point on the trail."
County, state and federal funds secured and developed the largely undeveloped property, per signage at the park.
An old yellow cottage now sits on the southeast corner and is home to a new bustling campus of the .
Saturday's grand opening might not excite the fishermen, who enjoy a tranquil setting in which to work. Bagpipers are planned to kick off the festivities at 3 p.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony with city and county officials is at 4 p.m., followed by a reggae band and food.
The event is free and open to all.