GRANDVIEW - The stage may be quiet at Grandview's Country Park fairgrounds, but if the Grandview Chamber of Commerce has its way the stage will be rocking again by the end of summer.
Last year marked the conclusion of Summer Eve in the Park, an event that had become a 10-year tradition in the community. The event, organized by Allec Sports and Entertainment, featured microbrew and wine tasting, as well as music by The Kingsmen.
Frank Allec said going into the 2004 event he was fairly sure it would be the last year for Summer Eve in the Park. He noted that he felt the crowd was getting younger and more and more alcohol was being consumed during the festival.
"It was developing away from what it was intended to be," Allec said.
When Allec decided to discontinue the music and tasting event, the Grandview Chamber of Commerce decided it would like to try to pick up the ball and keep the festival going.
Grandview Mayor and member of the committee who is trying to revive Summer Eve in the Park, Norm Childress, said he felt it was important to try to continue the event without letting it lapse for a year.
"I just want to keep the momentum going," Childress said. "The first year we don't have it people will take it off their calendar and forget about it."
Vickie Ramirez with the Grandview Chamber of Commerce said there is a group of chamber members working to try to put together an event similar to Summer Eve in the Park. She said at this point they are still trying to decide on a date for the event, which could be held either in July or September.
Ramirez said the Chamber is working with Clear Channel Radio, a new chamber member, who is looking into co-sponsoring the event, to try to organize a festive evening for the community.
According to Ramirez, the Chamber just recently decided to try to revive the Summer Eve in the Park event and make it their own. She said they started discussing it during their April board meeting.
"The members decided it was something they wanted to do and take over," Ramirez said.
Allec said when the event first started 10 years ago the Chamber was one of the main sponsors of Summer Eve in the Park. He explained that the non-profit group paid a set amount to sponsor the event, then brought together volunteers to work in the wine and microbrew tasting area, as well as at the gate. As a result of their hard work the Chamber received a certain percentage of the gate and all of the profits from the tasting area.
According to Allec, the Chamber served as the main sponsor of the event for five years before the organization got into dire straights and was having trouble coming up with the volunteers necessary to run the event. He said he knew that if he wanted Summer Eve in the Park to continue he would have to find a non-profit organization to take on the sponsorship role that could bring the volunteer man power necessary to have a successful event.
In recent years it's been the Knights of Columbus who have been the major sponsor of Summer Eve in the Park.
But now, with a roster of more than 100 members the Grandview Chamber of Commerce is optimistic that it will be able to continue the summer event.
. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at email@example.com