The Chesterton Park
Board has given its blessing to an afternoon of live music at Thomas
Centennial Park, organized by a pair of Chesterton High School students and
specifically promoting school safety and awareness of gun violence.
At their meeting
Tuesday night, members voted unanimously to authorize the use of Thomas Park
from 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 3, pending legal review of the contract and
receipt of insurance documentation.
One of the
organizers, junior Sam Houghteling, told the board that the event will not
be political or ideological. The point, he said, is simply to raise
awareness of the body toll and the peril posed by guns in the wrong hands.
“We want to make sure nobody forgets (the shootings in Parkland, Fla.). I
participated in the National Walkout (on April 20) and was very affected by
it. I thought the National Walkout was a great idea.”
co-organizer, junior Elle Hodge, concurred. “We’re not taking any political
stances,” she said. “We just want to keep the problem of gun violence in the
Hodge are hoping for 10 to 11 acts to perform at the concert and expecting a
turnout of between 250 and 300, Hodge said. So far they have a commitment
from Rolling Stone Bakery to sell food but are looking for other local
vendors to be on hand as well.
Lt. Joe Christian added that his DJ business, Arresting Sounds, will provide
all sound gear for the event and that two paid CPD uniformed officers will
be in attendance throughout the afternoon. “It’s a family event,” he said.
“It’s an awesome event. I don’t anticipate any issues at all.”
“They’re a good
group of kids,” Christian added.
In other business,
Town Council Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, approached the board from the
floor to ask whether the Park Department has plans this year to continue
Chesterton Cruise Night, the classic car event which has been held in the
Downtown on the last Saturday of the month during the summer.
DeLaney said that
he’s been asked by three different people what the Cruise Night’s future is
and he’s been unable to tell them. He added that one classic car club
boasting 750 members has indicated it would be pleased to help with set-up
Bruce Mathias was on vacation and not in attendance on Tuesday, but Park
Department Administrator Hilary Thomas-Peterson said that Cruise Night was
always the baby of former Park Board member Vince Emanuele and that she
doesn’t know at the moment whether Emanuele intends to continue his
involvement. Thomas-Peterson did say that she will reach out to Emanuele for
Night in the past has entailed the closure of Broadway between South Calumet
Road and Third Street, Associate Town Attorney Connor Nolan did note that a
formal petition for the road closure will need to be made before the Town
Council by someone representing the car buffs.
Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that the new restroom facility at Dogwood Park
will be open this weekend, that arrangements are being made to turn
on the water, and that NIPSCO has run electrical service to it.