SAN ANTONIO -

On Saturday, a celebration will take place to commemorate the grand opening of the last two-mile section of the Mission Reach project.

"It's just nature at it's best. It's the largest ecological restoration of an urban river anywhere in the United States," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

Soon, there will be a total of eight miles of hike and bike trails along the Mission Reach, stretching from South Alamo Street to Mission Espada.

Activities along the route include biking, running, walking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing.

"We hope citizens will use it to have great recreation (and that) tourists that come see us will enjoy it and we hope that the Mission attendance will eventually grow, which it already is (doing) and we hope some development will occur in close proximity to the river," said Wolff.

Margie Rodriguez, a nearby resident, said she's noticed a big difference in the area and enjoys walks along the trails. She said she looks forward to the opening of the new section.

"It's nicer," she said. "It's really clean and safe. We like the long walks. I like to hear the sounds of nature. It's relaxing being outside."

The Mission Reach Grand Opening celebration takes place Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There will be food trucks, live music, giveaways, a fishing clinic and a flotilla.

The opening ceremony is at Padre Park AT 10 a.m.

Entertainment will take place from noon to 4 p.m. with live music on three main stages and solo artists' performances at locations along the river from VFW Boulevard to Mission Espada.

From 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. there will be entertainment at Mission Park Pavilions.

The first 2,000 people at the event will receive free commemorative Mission Reach water bottles.

VIA will provide shuttle service from the Crossroads Park n' Ride location for $5 round trip.

Visit www.sanantonioriver.org for more information.

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