Pasadena’s favorite rock and roll sons will be honored on Saturday, September 10, when the City of Pasadena dedicates the new Playhouse Village Park and the Van Halen Stage in the Playhouse District.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set to take place at 9 a.m. followed by a community celebration from 10 a.m. to noon. According to the District 3 Council office, no speakers have yet been named for the ceremony.
Following a city-wide survey in 2021, the City Council voted to name the park’s stage for the band that took its name from Eddie and brother Alex Van Halen, who formed the Pasadena-based band in 1972.
The band went on to become one of the most successful bands in music history. Eddie influenced generations of rock guitarists all over the world. He died of a stroke and other complications in October of 2020.
The July 2021 survey asked residents to propose names for the new park, and after two rounds, the responses pointed to two most prominent names: Eddie Van Halen and African-American science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, multiple recipient of the Hugo and Nebula literature awards.
Eddie Van Halen Park received over 3,400 favorable responses in the survey, Octavia E. Butler Park got 526 favorable responses, and Playhouse Village Park and similar variations, including Playhouse Park, got 135, according to a tally reported jointly by the Planning and Community Development Department and the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.
The City Council eventually voted to name the park Playhouse Village Park at the urging of the late Councilmember John J. Kennedy, who declared it more appropriate.
The Van Halen family then requested that the stage area be named for the entire Van Halen band instead of exclusively for Eddie Van Halen. The Commission then amended its recommendation on the naming of the stage to the Van Halen Stage.
The new 1.04 acre park is at 701 East Union Street between El Molino Avenue and Oak Knoll Avenue, and includes a children’s play area, a dog run, a trellised structure over the sitting/stage area, lighted pathways, restroom and storage building, and a 48-space parking lot.
The Playhouse Village Park and Van Halen Stage will be dedicated on Saturday, September 10. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. followed by a community celebration from 10 a.m. to Noon.