Eyewitness This: Officials break ground on playground at Jenni Rivera Memorial Park in Long Beach

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
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Officials in Long Beach are breaking ground Monday on a new playground at the Jenni Rivera Memorial Park.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Officials in Long Beach broke ground Monday on a new playground at the Jenni Rivera Memorial Park, in honor of the late Mexican American superstar.

The project is one of several new playgrounds funded by revenue from a Measure A sales tax. The playground will be located on Walnut Avenue -- across from the Jenni Rivera mural, which was created by her older son and dedicated in 2015. The late singer, who was raised in Long Beach, died in a plane crash in Mexico in 2012.

Rivera sold more than 20 million albums and received countless awards before her tragic death.

Her sister, Rosie Rivera, and youngest son, Juan Angel Lopez, took part in the Monday ceremony.

"I'm just trying not to cry, just being real professional, but inside, I'm just this little girl that's looking up at her older sister. She was 12 years older than me, and to me, she was a star," said Rosie Rivera.

MORE: Jenni Rivera - Documentary in the works about late Mexican American superstar

"I think she would have been a little bit in shock because while my mother was very proud of her achievements, she seemed like she was a little bit unaware of how much she had accomplished, so I think she would have been very humbled and just very proud," Lopez said.

The playground is being paid for with $250,000 of Measure A funds plus another $10,000 from the Sixth Council District's Office.

"This would mean the world to her. To be able to give single mothers and fathers a place, a safe place to bring their children that's free, so they can enjoy it at all hours, would really mean everything to her, because I think quality time with her children was most important," Rosie Rivera said.

The Jenni Rivera Playground will be open to Long Beach residents in November.

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