Monona bandstand centennial celebration Sept. 8 at city park

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Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Monona’s city park bandstand Thursday, Sept. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m., in the park. The event, which will include an ice cream social, live music, family activities, demos and museum tours, will be a fundraiser for bandstand repairs. (Submitted photo)

Construction of the Monona City Park bandstand was completed in 1916 by Frank Montgomery at a cost of $140.  Improvements were done in 1928, consisting primarily of a brick raining, brick piers and a roof over the bandstand, along with some fountain work in the park, totaling nearly $500.  

Monona’s 1916 bandstand turned 100 years old this year, and it’s still going strong; however, it needs an overhaul of repair work in order to preserve it for many more generations to come.  Unfortunately, today’s construction materials and labor costs are 10-fold over costs a century ago. Community efforts are underway to help raise money for the needed repairs, and the public is asked for its help.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Monona City Park, the city of Monona and Monona Chamber & Economic Development, Inc. are co-hosting and inviting the public to help celebrate the 100-year old bandstand with a good old-fashioned ice cream social; live music; and family activities, demos, and historical tours. 

This will kick off the community’s fundraising efforts to raise awareness and donations to restore the bandstand to its earlier splendor. Free-will donations will go directly into the bandstand’s centennial maintenance and repairs fund. City officials will be on-hand to share updates and answer questions on the bandstand repair project.

Bring your lawn chairs or sit under one of the covered shelters to listen to the live “oldies” concert in the bandstand provided by Nathan Rickertsen and sponsored by mayor Barb Collins. See the first unveiling of the Monona Community Visioning proposed final design concepts, where the public’s comments are welcome and invited. There will be family fun with children’s face painting at 4 p.m., as well as all day play on Monona’s all-inclusive playground equipment, designed for children of any age or ability.

Located due west of the park, at 304 S. Egbert St., is the Monona Historical Museum and History Center. There, from 2 to 6 p.m., during the centennial celebration, the public is invited to see the first-time public showing and watch on-site demos of wood carving art by the Monona Wood Carvers Group. The museum created a display of the bandstand’s 100-year history from 1916 to present, and will provide docent-guided museum tours on which you’ll see the world’s largest known display of hand-carved chains, among other historical items from Monona’s past.

For more information or to help with an activity, please contact Rogeta Halvorson at (563) 539-8340 or (563) 880-9190 or MononaChamber@neitel.net.

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