FAIRBURY – The renovation of a park was celebrated in Fairbury on Saturday.
A reopening dedication for Marsh Park included numerous speakers, vendors, displays and activities for all ages. Mayor David Slagel noted the Fairbury Improvement Group has been more than successful in its mission of helping businesses prosper and making the town more appealing.
“It just shows how much can be accomplished when a group of talented and dedicated people put their minds to something,” Slagel said.
Project leader, local historian and volunteer Dale Maley explained the long history behind Marsh Park.
“John Marsh and his son Henry Marsh moved to Fairbury from Washington, Illinois. As part of the Marsh addition to Fairbury, they donated one city block to be developed into a park back in 1859,” Maley explained.
State Rep. Dan Brady even presented a resolution commemorating the day.
“We acknowledge the City of Fairbury and Marsh Park in recognition of the celebration on July 28, 2018 dedicating the newly-renovated Marsh Park to the people of Fairbury.”
Others giving remarks included David Hammer of Prairie Lands Foundation, Gary Norris with the Parks Commission, and Ward 3 council member Nancy Gerdes-Hibsch. Members of the Prairie Central High School band started the celebration with a playing of the National Anthem and Father Scott Archer of St. Andrew Catholic Church gave the opening prayer.
Music was also provided by local gospel bands and a brass quintet. There were plenty of lunch options as the VFW Auxiliary served hamburgers, the Odd Fellows served pulled pork and the Lions Club members had hot dogs for sale. Members of the local school PTO had snow cones and popcorn while the Rebekahs served pie and ice cream.
Vintage cars and tractors were displayed in the park along with small engines and wooden toys. The various activities included games from yesteryear, art projects and American Red Cross safety.