Heritage Park Bandstand
Laconia Rotary Heritage Park
Built - 1997

The bustling city of Laconia is located in central New Hampshire about 25 miles north of the state capital of Concord. Within the city limits are Lakeport and Weirs Beach and adjacent to its borders lies the state's largest lake - Winnipesaukee along with Lakes Winnisquan, Opechee and Paugus Bay. Thus it is in the heart of New Hampshire's Lake Region and a highly visited area which explains its growth over the years.
The busy Laconia Rotary Club is the oldest chartered one in the region being established in 1925. Over the years, the members have donated their free time for many great causes and have done countless wonderful things for the betterment of their proud city and to make it the attractive place to live and visit. They have numerous projects credited on their behalf with one of the largest being the creation and building of the Laconia Rotary Heritage Park in downtown Laconia on the Belknap Mill property, beside the Winnipesaukee River. Within this beautifully landscaped park, finished in June of 1997, after the concept began in 1994, is the Heritage Park Bandstand. This 24' hexagonal bandstand has been used extensively since the first band concert was given on Saturday, June 21st after the new park was dedicated.
This park and bandstand project was financed by the Laconia Rotary Club alone raising $40,000 for the construction of the new riverside park and bandstand after an extensive fund-raising campaign was held. Also part of the total project involved the development of another park on the banks of the Winnipesaukee River which brought the final cost of the project to $185,000, all told.
As far as the bandstand went, architect Paul Mirski and Ralph Winslow of the University of New Hampshire-Belknap County Extension Service, donated their design for both the bandstand and the park and Dave Rugh of Wood Visions of Derry, NH did the actual construction of the bandstand.
For years, outdoor band concerts were held on the Main Street pedestrian mall but after the walkway became a street once again, they had been held on the very site the park now sits. This new park and bandstand now allows the outdoor program to continue including concerts, festivals, and the starting point for walking tours along the river.
Some of the special events on the bandstand included a performance by Inca Sun, the Laconia Schools Arts Alive Annual Riverfest, Laconia's Riverwalk Festival, scavenger hunts, barbeques, environmental programs for kids, singing, etc. The Bill Bradley for President Campaign also made a stop in the park. Oc course, numerous concerts have taken place on the bandstand with each one attended by many citizens and visitors to the area.
Kathryn V. Nadeau, Asst Director
Belknap Mill Society

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