Saturday, August 15, 2009
Never having had the good fortune to visit the old Mountain Park back in the day, I had to be there for it's rebirth. They were having a free day-long concert on Saturday to launch the new Mountain Park, and I arrived around sunset to catch the last couple of hours.
The old park grounds were purchased almost three years ago and only just recently the rigmarole required for it's use as a new outdoor entertainment venue was completed. Owner Eric Suher wasted no time setting up parking, a concession area under the old pavilion (the only structure remaining from the old park), and a temporary but huge and elaborately lit stage.
There was plenty of parking space and the grounds are neatly cleared, with large swaths freshly seeded with grass.
It looks like the bulk of the land-clearing is done, and one can imagine what the finished product will look like. (here's some good wide angle shots from A simple life's blog...)
There's plenty of room for just about anything, and there's a large section of land that sits invitingly under a canopy of shade trees.
The stage itself sat at the bottom of a slope, so every seat was a good one.
When I arrived there was an excellent gospel band playing to an appreciative crowd which I suspect contained many people who had been enjoying the concert the entire scorchingly hot day.
The group was excellent, and the crowd was into it.
A few finally gave themselves completely over to the music, and cut loose with some unbridled exuberance...
...only to be quickly bridled again.
Not in a bad or rough-housed way, but in a 'hey buddy, let's dial it back a little' way. It was a family crowd for this first day, and there were a lot of kids there. From what I could see, security was on it's toes but not too obtrusive. They did give my back-pack a cursory look before letting me enter though, and wristbands had to be worn for alcoholic drinkers; par for the course nowadays...
Night began to creep in as the gospel group finished their set, and under the darkening sky the lights of the stage became more colorful as the final act warmed up.
They were a three man rock group, and after a couple of lighter songs, their set began to really rock.
It was a beautifully warm night for an outdoor concert, in what appeared to be a perfect venue for it. Good luck to Eric Suher in bringing Mountain Park back to life.
..now, if someone would just have a look next door, at the old ski area...