Dec 17, 2013

Senator Moore

Blackstone Canal Commission considers music shed Project would be located at
River Bend Farm

Category: News Room
Posted by: Craig

Blackstone Canal Commission considers music shed Project would be located at
River Bend Farm

BOSTON - The Blackstone River and Canal Commission met on Saturday, December
14th, to review a proposal to construct an entertainment pavilion near the
River Bend Farm Visitors Center at the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage
State Park on Oak Street, according to Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge,
the Commission Chairman.

Commissioners looked at three possible sites for a facility that would be a
permanent stage for musicians, dramatic productions, and other performances.
Areas being considered are a site where bands are regularly featured under a
tent near the canal bridge, a site at the top of the slope facing the field
that is used as a parking lot, and a location south of the park office. The
pavilion or bandstand would be large enough to accommodate a small symphony
orchestra or a "Shakespeare in the Park" type of theatrical production.

Concerts have been held at the park beginning with one in conjunction with
Blackstone Valley Heritage Homecoming in 1991. A summer concert series began
in 1995 funded by donations from Ocean State Power, local cultural
commissions, and other businesses.  Some years, as many as 20 concerts have
been held averaging as many as 300 people each. At least one group attracted
nearly a thousand fans. Although the number of concerts dropped because of
lack of sponsors during the recession, the Commission expects this to
increase, and wants to have a venue for other public events.

Northbridge Commission member Ted Hudson is coordinating the research for
the proposed project. He explained that Commissioners want a facility that
blends with the park surroundings, uses natural wood products, and can be
maintained for low cost. The Commission agreed to continue to refine the
proposal with cost estimates for design and construction, to research
sources of funding, and to identify with if the three sites would best suit
the needs for park programming.

The Blackstone River and Canal Commission, established by the Legislature in
1981, is responsible for guiding the development of the Blackstone River and
Canal Heritage State Park. Each Massachusetts community along the Blackstone
River - Blackstone, Millville, Uxbridge, Northbridge, Grafton, Sutton,
Millbury, and Worcester - has delegates appointed by the Selectmen. In
addition, several state agencies such as the Department of Conservation and
Recreation, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, the Central
Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, and the Blackstone River
Watershed Association are represented on the Commission.