Members of the Duneland communities flocked to the Thomas Centennial Park on a beautiful Saturday evening to enjoy the 9th annual Party in the Park. This event acts as a send off for kids going back to school in a few weeks. The Duneland Chamber of Commerce played host, and made sure that everyone had a great and memorable time.
Scott Mundell, Director of Business Development for Franciscan Alliance and President of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, was busy with food prep along with other chamber members and volunteers as they geared up to feed the masses.
"This is the third year that I've been a part of it and it's such a great event for the community," Mundell said. "We've got lots for kids and adults to take part in and a ton of food. People started lining up an hour before things even started tonight and I don't expect the line to go down for a while."
He wasn't kidding. There was table after table of food from local restaurants and eateries as well as great music played by DJ Gil Lewis from BlueStar Entertainment, a beer garden Leroy's "Hotstuff" Mexican Restaurant, and nonprofit vendors set up in the park ready to share their stories and spread awareness.
One entire section, Kidtown USA from Road to Life Church, was just for the kiddos. Bounce houses, a bubble machine, snow cones, face painting, and live balloon animal demonstrations kept the smiles on the faces of young and young at heart. The Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club had a dunk tank with its President, Heather Olson, perched on the bench in the tank as the resident "dunkee". On top of that, a green screen and photo booth offered by Impact Solutions so guests could get a commemorative photo from the evenings festivities.
"This is like a back-to-school party for the kids so it's really geared toward them," Kristina Koliboski, Office Coordinator for the Duneland Chamber of Commerce explained.
And what a great idea to make the idea of going back to school a celebration. Learning is a fantastic experience and should be treated as such. Taking part in sports at school, fun clubs, arts and music, obtaining new skills and honing current ones...education and those who are in that field deserve a high five. Many would agree with this, and many came out to the event to celebrate for multiple reasons.
"We really enjoy being part of this community and since we are celebrating our 150th anniversary this year we thought it was a great opportunity to come out and share it with everyone," Tricia Lahey, 1st Source Banking Center Manager at the Chesterton South location said. "We have popcorn with different seasonings for people to try and someone here to draw caricatures."
Party in the Park was an excellent cap to the summer and a great transition into fall. We all are looking forward to next year when the 10th annual Party in the Parks rolls around.
Sponsors for Party in the Park: Kramer and Lenoard, Strak and Van Til, Ideas in Motion Media, LaPorte Savings Bank, The Times, Post Tribune, BMO Harris Bank, Hogan Consulting Group, Lakeshore Bone and Joint Institute, Teachers Credit Union, Road to Life church, Wagner's, Popolano's, Hopkins Ace Hardware, Duneland School Corporation, 1st Source Bank-Chesterton North Branch, First State Bank of Porter, Horizon Bank, Lakeside Wealth Management Group, LLC, Ellis Electric Inc., Coldwell Banker, Republic Services, Franciscan Omni Health and Fitness, Harris Welsh & Lukmann, Subway, Arnell Chevy-Kia, Indiana American Water, Addison Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center, Centier Bank - Chesterton Downtown Branch, Tiger Lily, Republic Services, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, El Salto Mexican Restaurant, Family Express Corporation, George's Gyros Spot, Hot Diggity Dawg, Kernels and Kones, Leroy's ''Hot Stuff'' Homemade Mexican Food, The Waters of Duneland LLC, Val's Famous Pizza & Grinders, Ports of Indiana, Dunes National Park Association, Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, Precision Dental Center - John Balon, Dan Keilman, Anton Insurance Agency, Healthcare Solutions Team, City Electric Supply, H&R Block, Reprograpgic Artsm Inc, Burke Costanza & Carberry, LLP. Chesterton Tribune, Duneland Resale, Inc., Chesterton Printing Company, LLC, Gelsosomos Pizzeria & Pub