Chesterton Tribune



'Spark in the Park' set for October 7 in Thomas Park

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Zeno Rossetti is finalizing plans for “Spark in the Park,” a three-hour event in October at Thomas Centennial Park intended to be the launch event for a far more comprehensive fire spinning festival next year.

Rossetti, owner of the Chesterton Printing Company, told the Chesterton Park Board at its meeting Tuesday night that Spark in the Park will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, one day after the Chesterton Fire Department holds its annual fire prevention open house at the station, as part of National Fire Safety Week.

Spark in the Park will feature fire breathers, fire spinners, hula hoops, neon lights, body painting, a kids play area, and free glow toys, Rossetti said. There will be no vendors or sales and no street closures will be required.

“It’s pretty much going to be a marketing event,” Rossetti added, “a small little mini-fest at the east end of the park. Next year we hope to have a bigger event,” tentatively called the Fire & Lights Performance Art Festival.

That larger event will celebrate fire as art, with glass blowers, for instance, or sculptors who specialize in welding.

The not-for-profit event is supporting the CFD and the Burn Unit of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Chesterton Art Fair

In other business, Gary Cooke, treasurer of the Chesterton Art Fair board, took a moment to express his gratitude to the Park Board and the Parks & Recreation Department for its tremendous support of last week’s Art Fair in Dogwood Park.

It was blazing hot, Cooke noted, but the swelter didn’t appear to affect attendance. In fact, he said, based on the gate proceeds, more people attended this year than last.

Cooke said that Dogwood Park is proving a better venue than Hawthorne Park did, with its plentiful parking and its general flatness, which makes walking safer for the seniors.

“The Art Fair was successful again and a part of that success is because of the support we got from you,” Cooke said.

Cruise Night

Meanwhile, President Paul Shinn took a moment at the end of the meeting to congratulate the Park Department for a fine Cruise Night on Saturday, July 28.

“Attendance was fantastic,” said Shinn, who estimated that as many as 100 boss cars were on display, along Broadway from South Calumet Road all the way to Fourth Street.

Mike Billings is Everywhere

One name which kept popping up on Tuesday is that of Mike Billings, maintenance supervisor for the Park Department, who appears to have spent much of his time this summer putting out fires, making the trains run on time, and just generally being boots on the ground.

Billings provided invaluable assistance at the Art Fair, Cooke told the board. He was also chief traffic director at Cruise Night, Shinn noted. And when a leak developed at the splash pad in Chesterton Park on Monday, he and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell succeeded in locating the leak in one of the pipes, then shutting off its valve, affecting only a couple of jets in the splash pad.

Members expressed their appreciation to Billings for his fine work.

Stain on the House, Courtesy of Hopkins Ace

O’Dell, after the meeting, gave a shout-out to Mark Hopkins, owner of Hopkins Ace Hardware at 325 S. Calumet Road, for his generous donation of the stain which was applied a couple of weekends ago to the interior of the boxcar in Thomas Centennial Park.

Hopkins has been a huge supporter of the boxcar restroom project, and earlier this year his round-up campaign at Hopkins Ace raised $3,000 as part of a crowdfunding initiative.





Posted 8/8/2018




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