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New stage dedicated in Legion Park

 

Christopher Andersson

The volunteers who helped build the new Legion Park stage in Arlington on June 3 during a dedication for the stage.

Arlington's Legion Park now has a new stage that bands will be able to play at for downtown events and it was built largely through community and volunteer efforts.

Community members gathered at the park on June 3 to dedicate the recently completed stage.

The stage is set up with a pinewood covering, ceiling lights, a concrete dance area and set-ups for all the electrical equipment that bands need.

"I think it's absolutely beautiful. It's stunning and it's a great addition to the park," said Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert.

She said it will be easier for bands to come down and play at the park now.

"I think that the events down here will be more lively and we can have more bands that can come and play. We have more set up for the electrical equipment now and everything you need," said Tolbert. "I hope we start to see music in here every weekend in the summer. Wouldn't that be great?"

The Downtown Arlington Business Association donated $5,000 to help the project. Lisa Cisneros, the association's president, said she hopes the stage will support their downtown events.

"I think it will be a draw for people to come down. With the bands that they have coming down here it helps bring people into the downtown, so it was really important for our community to have this and we fully supported it," she said.

Local musicians started the project after playing at events in Arlington. Before they would have to bring in trailers for their stage which were less than ideal.

"Most towns have stages and we played a couple of times in July and it actually rained," said Johnny Green, local musician and leader of the project.

Music gear can get very expensive, he said, so having a covered area for it is important.

Arlington musician Pete Frothingham volunteered with the carpentry for the project. He had also played music at some previous Arlington events and said that the makeshift stages were often "rocky" and not particularly stable.

"With this stage, it's going to be good for everything in the city I think, all sorts of events," he said.

Green approached the city about constructing something better for Legion Park.

"We thought we would get all our friends together and see if we could put something together and it worked out," he said.

Frothingham lives in Arlington and said he wanted to help his community when he heard about it.

"I volunteered. Johnny Green told me they were going to start this project and I said 'well, I'd like to be a part of it,'" he said.

"I didn't know how much of a part of it I was going to be. I just thought I'd come down and help a couple weekends, but it turned out to be a lot more than that," he said.

Green and other volunteers worked on the stage for two and a half months.

Tolbert said she likes seeing projects like this in the community and was "thrilled" that a group took this idea on.

"I think this community is built on a spirit of volunteerism and there's so many things that have happened in this town because people have pulled together," she said.

The volunteers said they were glad that the stage was finally done.

"Everybody worked great together and we had a fun time doing it, although we're still glad it's done," said Green. "I'm happy with the way it turned out."

"I don't know how we did it, but it's nice to finally be singing on a stage instead of building one," said Frothingham.

He said that the stage is "beautiful" and he was "proud to be a part of the project."

Tolbert wanted to thank all those who put in time to make the stage.

"These guys are busy and they have regular jobs, so all of the time they put in to make sure that it got done right and on time is great," she said.

Green also wanted to thank the city for their help.

Christopher Andersson

The new Legion Park stage in downtown Arlington.

"Sarah Lopez, Arlington's community revitalization project manager was very instrumental in working with the city and was great to work with," he said.

Green also wanted to thank those who gave material donations, including Smokey Point Concrete, Arlington Hardware, Rex's Rentals, Brian Hendry, Island Masonry, CNB Iron Works, Skookum Brewery, Ralph's Concrete Pumping and Ahern Rentals, and those who gave monetary donations, including the Downtown Arlington Business Association, the Stilly Diner, Action Sports, Unique Interiors, the Arlington Arts Council and Olympic Escrow.

 

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