What you need to know about Sunday’s drive-thru memorial at Ascarate Park

El Paso Strong

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — On Sunday, August 2, a day before the anniversary of the El Paso Walmart shooting, the County will host a drive-thru memorial at Ascarate Park.

The community is invited to come together — but at a safe distance. The gates will open to the public at 8:30 p.m. and stay open until 11:30 p.m.

“We want to unite everyone in the community, but because of the circumstances, we realized that we had to be socially distanced. This is just another way for us to be together but apart,” Elizabeth Gamez VP Marketing at United Way.

The drive-through will be about a mile and a half long. The left side of the lake is lined with about 10,000 luminarias.

Twenty-three life-like sculptures representing each of the shooting victims are displayed throughout the park. Each one is covered in moss and dried flowers. The floral artists say the moss represents eternal growth, and the flowers are a representation of life and death.

Dancers and musicians will also be performing throughout the park. Attendees are asked to lower the radio in your car so that everyone can hear and enjoy live music.

“This is really important that the whole community participate because everyone got impacted one way or the other small or big in every different way and so has been always a memorial that will be for everyone,” El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.

Due to the virus, Samaniego said many people hadn’t had much time to reflect on the tragedy of August 3. This event should allow many in the community to have a time of healing.

“We were focusing on the virus, and it sort of didn’t allow us to get to that place that we want to be at this time. The first anniversary, very important this is very significant. This is going to be the foundation of how we are going to look at this going forward. I know it is going to be spectacular,” Said County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.

Victims family members will be at the park earlier for the groundbreaking of the El Paso County Community Healing Garden, but community members can stream here on KTSM.com.

If you don’t have a chance to attend the drive-thru memorial on Sunday, it will also be open on Monday, August 3, from 8:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

You can also participate from home. The City and County are asking El Pasoans to place a luminaria on your front porch at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, August 3.

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