Mosaic Transforms Town Park into Heart of Community

Date Posted: 6/12/2024

A true gem lies at the heart of Cary, North Carolina. The recently completed Downtown Cary Park spans seven acres of stunningly designed public space. Green space, water features, and recreational facilities fold together to create a gathering place for residents in all stages of life, all orchestrated with meticulous care by ETC’s Mosaic control system. The centerpiece of the park is its performance pavilion, where High End Systems’ Solapix XT movers set the stage for performers from around the country to serenade the town. 

The park utilizes six Mosaic Controllers to control its lighting and water features. Cailen Waddell, Cary’s Program Supervisor for Technical Operations, emphasizes that automation was crucial to the park’s day-to-day functionality: “We have some custom Mosaic modules that we've developed in-house to interact with our scheduling software. For example, if you want to make a fountain pink for Valentine's Day, you can go into our scheduling software, pick the fountain and drag it, like you're on an Outlook calendar, to ‘pink’,” says Waddell. “It does it without us having to go in and write new programs, which is lovely for us. The day-to-day staff enjoys being able to schedule things without having to reach out to make technical requests.” 

This desire for low-maintenance, highly automated equipment carried through when lighting the Performance Pavillion. “The idea of a lighting rig that can live in the air outside for nine, ten months of the year and only come down for service appealed to us, as well as a lighting rig that doesn't need to be refocused,” explains Waddell. “Having to drive a lift into the middle of the park to refocus is a no-go because we have tables and chairs under the pavilion, we don't want to have to clear those two days in advance for concert load-in. We want to be able to clear the pavilion after lunchtime, put up a barricade, do a couple hours of load-in, and be ready to do a show. That’s the operational philosophy that drove a lot of the equipment decisions.” That’s where High End Systems’ SolaPix 19 XT movers come in. “We were excited that ETC and High End were developing an outdoor IP rated wash fixture and we're excited to have that as part of the lighting rig, because it's the perfect-sized fixture for that space.”  

With several showy water features throughout the park, Waddell’s team was sure to teach them how to share the spotlight. “We have a Mosaic controller in the pumps, so when it's performance time at the Pavillion, we’re able to slow down the water flow and bring it down to a lower level to drop noise out.” 

A huge degree of control is exhibited over the lighting throughout the park, allowing for its theming to go all-out on special occasions while remaining a normal park on most days. “Every fixture on every pole is individually DMX addressed, so we can set mood and selective illumination with a lot more detail than you normally would in a park. There are somewhere around four and five-thousand patched addresses.”  With 400 in-ground speakers throughout the park and Mosaic-controlled color-changing lights, special event theming can really wow when the occasion is right. “We have the ability to make it feel like a theme park when we want to, but most of the time the space is just allowed to exist in a more static state.” 

EchoTouch control stations are utilized for the interiors of buildings that scatter the park such as the Academy Pavilion, Gathering House, and an outdoor bar nestled within the dog park area known as The Bark Bar. “We needed something affordable, basic, and easy to program. We're not doing anything fancy in there, and because we already had Sensor IQ driving the electrical and lighting in the park, EchoTouch made sense.” 

And with ETC’s tech support just a call away, Downtown Cary Park can continue to bring its local community together with a sense of smooth security. “ETC has great support, and that's important to us. Cary has a lot of venues running ETC gear, and our emergencies aren’t taking place from nine to five,” Waddell says. “I’ve had conversations with ETC tech support staff on call while they're grocery shopping with their kids, talking me through exactly how to fix my problem. That is not something you’ll get with every manufacturer. We really value that.” 

Equipped with the cutting edge of automated luminaries and controls, Downtown Cary Park is sure to be an indelible community space for the town of Cary for generations to come.