Construction workers putting the finishing touches on the Sundance Square Plaza filled the center of downtown Fort Worth last week, but orange vests and hard hats were replaced by LED light displays and balloon hats for its grand opening on Friday morning.

Sundance Square Plaza opened this weekend with free live music, face painters, magicians and more after 18 months of construction. The 55,000-square foot plaza is partly covered by four giant 80 feet by 80 feet umbrellas and decorated with a number of water fountains, a multi-purpose stage, and various light displays at night, according to the Sundance Square website.

Carolyn Alvey, vice president of Aardvark Communications and media contact for Sundance Square, said this plaza will be a focus of downtown Fort Worth and a reason for people to come and stay.

“There is no doubt that this is going to be a destination for people,” Alvey said. “This is a place where there will be beautiful benches and restaurants with outside patios really encouraging pedestrians.”

To further that safe, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, Alvey said Main Street will be permanently closed between Third and Fourth Street.

“People will be able to stroll and walk and go from shop to shop and restaurant to restaurant and enjoy all the performance activities and the band without any worries of traffic,” Alvey said. “It’s a really great environment for people to be in.”

Dan Berndt, a Fort Worth resident, said he is excited for the opening of Sundance Square Plaza.

“They’ve done a great job designing this square,” Berndt said. “It’s a beautiful spot, and the city is going to have a lot of fun here.”

Kenzo Tran, owner of Piranha Killer Sushi located in the downtown area, said he too is glad to have the new plaza so nearby.

“It will bring old and new business,” Tran said, “and I’ll bring my friends and family out to enjoy it.”

Alvey said this plaza has always been a part of the vision of downtown Fort Worth, but the purchase of a parking lot by Sundance Square allowed the project to finally begin last year.

“It is probably one of the most anticipated projects in all of North Texas,” Alvey said. “What this really does for Fort Worth is it changes generations to come. It will now create this urban living room that people will be enjoying for many generations.”