CHICAGO (CBS) — The $60 million Maggie Daley Park, adjacent to Millennium Park in Chicago’s front yard, opened to strollers, skaters and kids of all ages Saturday, reports WBBM’s Mike Krauser.

Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and his daughter were on hand for the ribbon cutting alongside Park District CEO Michael Kelly and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“The wonder that this park experience brings to so many people is something I know would have filled my mom with great joy,” Nora Daley-Conroy said.

Admission to the skating ribbon is free and skate rentals will be $12.

“You look around here, you see that playground, you see this ice skating rink, you see the rock climbing, I just told Mayor Daley it makes you want to sue your parents for cheating you of a childhood,” Emanuel said.

Emanuel also paid tribute to Maggie Daley.

“She was a reflection of the best of who we are as a city and this park is a reflection of who she was as a person,” he said. “It is graceful and it is full of life.”

The reviews from the first-timers on the quarter mile twisting and undulating skating ribbon: Awesome.

Maggie Daley Park is bordered on the west by Columbus Drive, the north by Randolph Street, the south by Monroe Drive, and the east by Lake Shore Drive. It is connected to Millennium Park by the BP Bridge.

The opening the park is not without controversy as dog owners who live in nearby high rises are not happy with a last-minute ban on dogs in the park.

They marched along the sidewalk on the park border to protest the decision. One man said dogs can get into heaven but not Maggie Daley Park.

The plan, they say, had always been to allow dogs in the park, but about a week ago, the Park District did an about face and decided there’d be no dogs in the park, after all.
Dog owners are livid. They’re gathered 700 petition signatures in three days and are vowing to fight the decision.

Park CEO Mike Kelly said it was his decision and said they have other places to walk their dogs. He said they wanted to stay consistent with Millennium Park and he’s standing by the decision.

He also said people have other places to walk their dogs, including Lakeshore East Park, just to the north and all of Grant Park, to the south.

The dog owners scoffed at taking their dogs to Grant Park, noting they’d have to walk more than a mile to get there.