City Parks Planner Dennis Erickson said the new stage, which the city is calling an outdoor education center, will be located about halfway down the 10-acre park’s walking track, and will be built into the side of Sunset Mesa, which overlooks the park and joins it by trails to other city parks.
The event on May 15 will be for the entire family, but won’t be paid for by the city, but instead from funds raised by a committee chaired by Randy Havens of Timberline Bank.
“This is just the host event and we’re looking at $4,500 or $5,000 just to put this on, but the money’s not coming from the city, but from donations,” Havens said.
The event will be free to the public but donations will be accepted toward an eventual fundraising campaign, he said.
Plans for the performance stage go back more than a decade, and the event to announce it to the public will be a fun day for the whole family, with a performance by the Ridgway band the Rockadiles, food vendors, a military and antique car show, and games for kids.
Since the park opened two years ago, events honoring veterans has been the theme for annual events there, with a salute to veterans’ celebration on Armed Forces Day two years ago and installation of the traveling version of the Vietnam Memorial, the Moving Wall, last year.
That theme will continue, Havens said.
“It won’t be of the caliber of the Moving Wall, but will be a fun evening, an all-American family evening, with dancing and stuff like that,” he said.
If people want to donate to help pay for construction of the amphitheater, donations can be made through the Montrose Community Foundation or at the event.
“We’re not kicking off a capital campaign yet, but are trying to let the public know what’s going to be there, of what we could have in that park,” Havens said.
Another aspect of the event will be to hold a “Montrose Idol” singing competition, but will be limited to the first 25 applicants and residents of the Western Slope, he said. Applications are available at Timberline Bank.
The audience will determine who’s the best, Erickson said, and small prizes will be given to the top winners.
“We’re not sending anyone to Hollywood, or anything like that,” he said.
Even though it’s received little publicity, Erickson said plans for an amphitheater at the park go back to the 1996 Montrose Parks Master Plan.
“It took several years to get what we’ve got developed up there,” he said.