Heritage Park After Ribbon-Cutting Hometown News

Park Dedication Ceremony Sets A New Tradition

Article by Dawn Kelly and Photography by Kevin Kelly – Hometown News – avillanews@gmail.com (now dawn.girlfriday@gmail.com), December 9, 2018

AVILLA – The dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Heritage Park marked the day when a dream and a lot of planning and work became a welcomed reality.  On Saturday, December 8th, Avilla friends and neighbors gathered together to celebrate the transformation of the lot between Avilla Hair Salon and where the former MagPie’s Pizza was on East Albion Street, into a beautiful pocket park.

More than 50 people gathered to celebrate and enjoy the ribbon-cutting.  Restore’s President, Todd Carteaux, began the ceremony, encouraging the crowd to get involved with organizations and groups that serve the community.

Carteaux spoke passionately, saying, “We took a place downtown that was an eyesore, and together the whole community came together and made it a place of beauty that young and old could use alike.  I’d like Heritage Park to be a symbol of what we can do when we work together in the community.  This is a beginning, not an end.  There are so many things that you can help the Town of Avilla – the Park Board only has one member – you could help the Park Board. The Chamber of Commerce needs members. You could help at the Restore board – you can help us with our cause.”

Reverend Shalimar Holderly, from Avilla Calvary United Methodist Church, prayed for the park, the town, and the community before a youngster from the attendees cut the ribbon for the celebration to move into the park space itself.

With much jubilation and cheering, everyone happily enjoyed Christmas music, warm cider, and cookies as they mingled and walked through the park, looking at the bronze plaque, the capstones, the furniture, and taking in the beauty of the new space.

Santa joined the fun shortly thereafter with much enthusiasm and sang “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” to the crowd, before announcing that there will be an Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Heritage Park in the years ahead.  Preparing for the lighting of the tree, Santa asked everyone to join in, counting down from 10 and with much anticipation, the 12-foot evergreen was beautifully lit.  

Santa then asked the children to gather and tell him their Christmas wishes. Quickly, the kids lined up, excited to chat with St. Nick.  Brian and Dorothy Iddings, owners of the former Midtown Market, opened their doors for a place for attendees to get warmth, hot chocolate, coffee, and other goodies.  The market’s windows were also decorated for Christmas, as were a few other buildings near the park, some hosting Christmas trees for the Chamber of Commerce’s Tree Decorating Contest.



Restore Avilla | Downtown Revitalization Organization Avilla Indiana
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