CHESTER – Construction work has begun on a new stage in Chester’s North Park.
After months of planning by the Chester Community Club, and working with the village board, the footings were dug last Sunday and poured Tuesday.
The stage is planned to be used for Chesterfest, and other community events like movies in the park, other concerts and plays.
“We’ve had Chesterfest for several years now,” Chester Community Club president Adam Tipton said. “We decided that if we’re going to grow the event and attract some bigger bands, it’d cost a lot to rent a stage. So, we thought we could pay for the stage by just building it.”
With the addition of the stage, Tipton is confident that Chester Park can become a more recognizable venue.
“I really envision it to become more of an outdoor venue area,” he said. “I think you could have movies in the park or more concerts or plays in the park. It’s a nice area. We’ve put in fencing, shade, landscaping. There’s restrooms right there. Concessions.”
The stage will be 40 feet wide and 24 feet long. The concrete structure should be ready in time for this June’s Chesterfest with plans for a canopy still in the works. Chesterfest is set for June 28-29.
Chesterfest, a two-day festival celebrating the community for the last three years in a row, features concerts, art fair, softball tournaments, all kinds of food, a fireworks show, a car show and much more.
All funds towards the stage project are coming from the Community Club through events held in the past three years. The concrete alone will cost roughly $11,000, according to Tipton. The cost of a canopy remains unclear, though it could be around $7000-$8000.
Watson Construction LLC, and other volunteers, are donating their time to the project.
“If the community can come together and use (the stage), I think it’ll be a great asset,” Tipton said. “It’s something different that nowhere else has.”
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