LAKE PLACID - A new bandshell is nearly complete in Mid's Park, and another special piece of the park has also fallen into place, literally.
Last week, the village highway department carried a massive boulder there in a front loader's bucket. The rock was taken from the Lake Placid Club to Mid's Park. The rock was donated by the Lussi family.
Village Trustee Peter Holdereid watched as the rock was unloaded.
A new rock at Mids Park has a toy sword stuck in it, which Jeff Erenstone jokes is Excalibur, the legendary blade King Arthur pulled from a stone.
(Photo — Jeff Erenstone)
"It was about 10,000 pounds, that rock," Holdereid said. "The wheels (of the loader) looked like they were going to pop."
When the creation of the new bandshell began, the rock that sat next to the bandshell was not in the redesign. It was too heavy to move, so builders buried it under the ground. This left a few local residents worried their children would not be able to climb and play on it as they had in the past.
Jeff Erenstone and others formed the Save the Rock Committee, dedicated to returning the rock to its rightful place by the bandshell's side.
"The motivation was that kids really liked playing on the rock," Erenstone said. "Every time there is a concert, kids sort of gravitated and played on top of the rock. When I was a little kid, I definitely did it. It's part of the heritage of that park."
Marc Galvin, co-owner of Bookstore Plus, is also a member of the committee.
"Our daughters grew up dancing on that rock," Galvin said. "We wanted a rock their to make the park unique and be like when they were growing up."
Erenstone said, early on, the committee decided that humor was the best way to raise awareness about the rock's importance.
"We've decided we were going to have fun with this," he said. "So, we started making fake facts about the rock, kind of like Chuck Norris jokes."
Of course, no two rocks are the same, but Erenstone said that didn't matter to the committee.
"We're going to put it close enough so that the cosmic energy from the other rock will flow up and make a rock connection," Erenstone said. "This new rock very may well be the rock Excalibur was pulled out of."
This rock was moved slightly from the old one's location. It now sits farther to the right of the bandshell. This opened up the area to allow more room to dance.
"Now there is actually a flat surface for people to dance on, so I totally understand it," Erenstone said. "Everything they've done I've been super-happy with and supportive. I think it's going to be a much nicer park."
At one point there was talk of taking a rock unearthed from beneath Broadyway in Saranac Lake during a sewer line replacement project, but Erenstone said that rock was too big to move.
The bandshell project is expected to be finished before for the annual summer concerts by Songs of Mirror Lake and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta. Holdereid said soon LED lights will be installed on the bandshell, and later sod will be laid in the park. The concerts start with Southern soul group J.J. Grey & Mofro on Tuesday July 1.
Contact Matthew Turner at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.