Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 21, 2013

Power to the park

Vendors, rides are coming to Foster Park

By Scott Smith
Tribune staff writer

— The downtown streets won’t be obstructed by teacups and tilt-a-whirls this year because all of the Haynes Apperson Festival rides will be in Foster Park.

Workers on Monday installed electric conduit and panels at the park in advance of the summer festival season, as Kokomo’s festival epicenter moves from the courthouse square.

“A park setting is the best place to have a festival,” Kokomo Parks & Recreation Department Superintendent John Martino said. “You have a natural environment with grass, trees and flowers. I just think it’s a much more aesthetically pleasing area.”

Contractors are installing 12 subpanels near the Foster tennis courts, which vendors and carnival operators can use during festivals and the city’s Summer Concert series.

The Haynes festival, July 4-6, is the year’s big event, with nostalgia rock acts Blue Oyster Cult and Night Ranger slated to play.

The city already has electricity for the park’s band shell, as well as ample lighting, but now vendors and ride operators can join the party.

Workers also have been busy planting a mix of hardwood, softwood and ornamental trees in the park, along the Wildcat Walk of Excellence, and along the Industrial Heritage Trail. Martino estimated the department has planted about 500 trees since the start of 2012.

J&J Electric is contracted for the electrical work. Martino said he expects the Taste of Kokomo festival also will move to Foster Park this year.

Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or scott.smith@kokomotribune.com.