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November 19, 2017

11/2/2017 3:00:00 PM
Letter to the Editor 11-2-17

Thanks to a $15,670 grant from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation, the City Of Rising Sun received funding toward the purchase and installation of permanent, weatherproof staging for our riverfront. The staging, 12' x 24', will be placed along the base of the concrete serpentine wall by the river and centered below the pavilion. Ample electric is already in this area.

This section of our $15,000,000 riverfront has been vastly underutilized and we're looking to change that. The serpentine wall and grassy terraced banks on each side provide amphitheater-style seating ideal for entertainment: local bands, high school bands, nationally known acts, plays, theater performances, magic shows, variety acts weddings and more. Just think of the possibilities!

Our riverfront is our city's greatest community asset. The more we can utilize it, the better. Picture yourself with your special someone, family or friends on a beautiful summer night. You're sitting in comfy lawn chairs or on a blanket and listening to a great band playing some of your favorite songs. The backdrop isn't a sterile, curtained indoor stage. Instead, you have the added natural ambiance of the mighty Ohio River and the Kentucky hills. It's perfect!

The area is handicapped accessible and there are multiple points of entry allowing people to pick a spot to enjoy the events. The staging itself will not block access along the riverfront. It will remain accessible for walkers, joggers, and those who need wheel chair assistance. Another bonus of having staging in this location is safety. It moves people out of the city streets and into the park.

The city has staging but it is not designed to remain in the elements. To assemble our existing, temporary staging at the base of the serpentine wall is a very cumbersome process requiring hours upon hours of labor. Existing staging has to be loaded and trucked from storage then taken to the gravel access road at the foot of Fifth Street.

From there, each piece, one at a time, has to be loaded on a bobcat and moved to the concrete base for assembly. When the event is over, the process repeats itself in reverse. It is not easy and the logistics have been a major reason why events have been discouraged from performing at the wall. The new weatherproof staging resolves that concern and opens up our riverfront to some wonderful entertainment options.

While the staging is designed to be permanent, it can be moved in the event of extreme flooding. Those instances would be rare. The city is also looking at possibly purchasing a portable, inflatable stage cover. The cover can fit over the stage to provide protection for the entertainers and can also be used as a standalone cover in another location.

The city extends its sincerest thanks to the Rising Sun Regional Foundation for the grant award and we hope to see you at some events at the serpentine wall in 2018!

Thank you and God Bless!

Mayor Brent Bascom

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