Staff Blogger: Allyson Lane, Advancement & Communications Assistant
Since 1979, the Steele Memorial Bandstand/Gazebo has provided an open space for programming on the lakefront. It commands attention and draws people to Central Park from shuffleboard, miniature golf, the playground and Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile. The programs that have taken place for the past 38 years support the four Chautauqua pillars and a sense of family and community in Lakeside.
Over the years, the Gazebo has played host to many Sunday concerts, including the Genoa American Legion Band, Ed Caner, John and Bonnie Wilkie and, of course, Chip Richter. Today, music fills Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile thanks to the Sunday Family Night in the Park shows and outdoor concerts during Fourth of July and Week 11. During the Plein Air Art Festival, the Gazebo becomes the subject of many paintings with its beautiful backdrop along the edge of Lake Erie.
The Gazebo has also made a beautiful classroom, hosting educational programs at its picturesque location. In 1995, Ohio State University football coach Joe Hollis gave a lecture titled “Living Values through Sports.” Since then, it’s been the home of author visits, children’s nature programs, tree walks and more. In 2018, the Rhein Center hopes to host weekly sing-alongs with each class teaching kids about a different genre of music.
In addition to hosting Chautauqua programs, the Gazebo is home to countless special events. This past summer, it was the central location for “All Hands on Deck,” an event where Lakesiders stood hand in hand to raise awareness for the protection of the Great Lakes, and the Pet Parade. When youth camps visit Lakeside, they often use the Gazebo as a meeting space.
Year after year, the Steele Memorial Bandstand/Gazebo is the backdrop to celebrate life’s milestones. Through proposals, weddings, family reunions and baptisms, it fosters a sense of community and love in Lakeside. Many family memories have been created at this special spot along the shore.
The Gazebo’s location in Central Park allows Lakesiders to stumble upon the Chautauqua experience and join in with the community. This laid back nature is what makes Lakeside a place unlike any other in today’s precisely planned, nonstop world. Its openness allows the programs to flow out into the community and draw people in for a program they had not previously planned on attending. Its beautiful architecture and perfect backdrop on the lake make for a wonderful place to reflect or celebrate life’s most memorable moments.
Having received only minor updates since its dedication in 1979, the Steele Memorial Bandstand/Gazebo is in need of revitalization. Lend a hand this #GivingTuesday and help us make the following updates to this beloved spot in Lakeside:
- Fresh coat of white paint
- New landscaping and flower containers
- Step extension and paver system for the open stage
- Remove gravel and replace with grass
- New benches installed on concrete strips
- Plant new grass for even ground
To give a gift…
- Make an online donation today or on Tuesday, Nov. 28
- Call (419) 798-5396 to give a gift over the phone.
- Make a check payable to the “Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation,” Attn: Giving Tuesday, 236 Walnut Ave., Lakeside, Ohio 43440 with “Giving Tuesday” in the memo line.