Dennis Village Green
Built - 1993
Dennis was named an "All-American Town" in 1978 as well as it should, not only for its wonderful traditional New England heritage, dating back to whaling days, but also for its modern day conveniences. Business districts have been well developed throughout the Village of Dennis as well as its numerous beautiful beaches and recreation trails. The town was involved in an abundance of maritime activities in the 1900s and has many amazing tales of those foregone days of clipper ship adventures and the glory days of sea captains.
In 1991, the town decided to tear down their existing bandstand on the Village Green and replace it with a new one. The project to erect this new structure was then completed in time for the town's centennial celebration in 1993. The Dennis Village Green was always the focal point of activities in the town and the DPW used to tow over a portable stage on a flatbed since the old bandstand was deemed unsafe. The town then decided to build this new one and gathered many volunteers who contributed their time and expertise in erecting this new structure under the guidance of the Village Improvement Society of Dennis whose name was given to the bandstand once completed. The new bandstand was modeled after a painting that one of the members of the society had hanging over his fireplace in his home.
The bandstand has a "sister" in East Douglas since their residents had requested the plans for the building of their bandstand which is almost a twin. The building of the East Douglas bandstand was built from scratch from rough drawings given them. Harwich also requested a set of plans for a new bandstand that they were planning on building.
The bandstand's cost was financed wholly by contributions from local businesses and residents and once the funding was completed, construction began immediately unfortunately taking longer than expected since the town had to wait over one year for the electric company to move some overhead wires. No one actually thought to look up when the site for the bandstand was chosen to see the hanging wires. So while the electrical work was to be done, the town used the deck for concerts and ceremonies.
The bandstand's usage has been quite varied, from the somber Memorial Day observations to the TV show New England Chronicle filming the bandstand and village green. The structure has also played host to craft fairs, colonial encampments, square dances, the Cape Cod Spinners Fair, weddings, many concerts, book signings and children's library events. Also Dave McKenna, a famous jazz pianist, has performed on the bandstand along with a production from Lee Child's "Bourbon Street Paradise," a now well-known 50s group - Freddie & The Maybellines - got their start on the bandstand.
The bandstand has had many dances on and around it with combinations of Chatham, Harwich and Brewster Bands with headliners - "The Spirit of America" band from Orleans, Lower Cape Concert Band, Lou Pell's Oompah Band and the Barnstable Band.
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:
Carole W. Bell, President
The Village Improvement Society of Dennis