Party In The Park Celebrates Launch of Back to School

By: Barbara Jo Adkins Last Updated: August 28, 2011

At the Centennial Park in downtown Chesterton, the Chesterton-Duneland Chamber of Commerce held it's end of summer bash to celebrate back to school. 

Heather Ennis, Executive Director of the Chesterton Duneland Chamber of Commerce, said "We are so excited for this end of summer bash, the sponsorship and support for this has been great and supportive. The restaurants did an excellent job providing the pot-luck dinner. This Party In The Park is a great way for the community to come out and have a good time."

Volunteering from the Chamber was Laura GerhardtGerhardt is on the membership committee for the Chesterton-Duneland Chamber of Commerce. This was her first time volunteering for the Party In The Park. Gerhardt said this event helps to celebrate "the launch for the new school year beginning".

There were several fun activities for the kids to do, including face painting from the YMCA and making a fox hat from the nature-based pre-school of The Field Station Cooperative. There were also plenty of bubbles to pop and music to dance to by BlueStar Entertainment DJ Service, provided by Gil Lewis, and many more activities including a dunk tank.

Offering free face painting was the Duneland Family YMCAChris Brand of the YMCA said The Party In The Park helps to "give the YMCA good exposure." She also wanted to get the word out about the up and coming Wizard of Oz Festival, in which they will be hosting the Emerald City Hustle 5k.  The race will be September 17 and start at 8am.  Contact the Duneland Family YMCA for more information at dunelandymca.org. The 5k also will help to raise funds for the Duneland Family YMCA.

One of the main attractions for people at the event was the lineup of classic cars displayed.  Todd Biggs proudly showed off his 1979 all original torch red Corvette. Ronnie Eversole showed off his 1964 red Plymouth Fury 426 Max Wedge, and Tim Sullivan with his 1965 Dodge Superstock 426 Hemi all original car with an '06 Toyota black cherry paint color.

The Chesterton Police were getting in on the fun too, showing off one of their new squad cars as well as selling a custom designed T-shirt by a local 8th grade Chesterton Middle School student Bridgett Petre

Petre's design is a result of winning a T-shirt design competition at her school for the K-9 Unit. K-9 Officer Erik Herbert said "Petre has won other art competitions and now as a result wants to go to school to further her art education." Petre won a $50.00 Visa gift card and her name printed on each t-shirt sold.

Each shirt sells for $15.00 and raises money for equipment for the K-9 police dogs as well as the Shop With A Cop program.  "Last year the presents were all delivered to 31 children in either a police car or a fire truck." said Corporal Antonio Alfaro.

A special thank you to all sponsors and restaurants from the Chesterton-Duneland Chamber of Commerce that participated in The Party In The Park as well as all those that came out for the end of summer bash.

To view pictures from the Party In The Park, click here!