ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa -- The improvements at Arnolds Park Amusement Park just keep coming.
A new stage on which to host outdoor concerts in being constructed on Preservation Plaza, along with a permanent concession stand and restrooms.
Paul Plumb, marketing director for the historic amusement park, said these are "huge improvements" that were made possible by a donor. The $10 million project is expected to completed in late-June or early July.
"With the upgrade there, we're hoping we'll draw bigger acts that want to play here. With the way that we've turned the stage a little bit, we'll be able to accommodate some more guests," said Plumb, who estimates that the venue will be able to hold roughly 6,000 people, an increase of some 2,000.
Every Saturday night during the summer, Arnolds Park Amusement Park offers a free show. Plumb said concert-goers will be able to park their lawn chairs in front of the stage, which features a wave-like roof and natural stone from the area, sit back and enjoy the music. He said some shows that require tickets are also planned throughout the season.
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"They wanted to replicate the waves of the lake, along with the curves of the rollercoaster at the park. That was kind of thinking to tie that in to the whole area," he said of the stage's unique roof.
A complete revamp of Lake Street, a project which is separate from the stage, is expected to be finished before the park opens for the season in May.
Plumb said the improvements were spearheaded by Imagine Iowa Great Lakes and include traditional brick pavers and all new water and sewer infrastructure underneath the street. He said artificial turf is being placed by a collection of interactive musical instruments at Harmony Park, which is located in the Queen's Court area.
Visitors will also notice new seating; decorative lighting, including string lights; and colorful landscaping.
Imagine Iowa Great Lakes is driven by Okoboji-area community members in collaboration with local and regional contractors, city officials and state government entities. Other recent Imagine Iowa Great Lakes projects include the Promenade, one of busiest walking trails in the Iowa Great Lakes. The Promenade features native Iowa plants and trees, as well as nine glowing arches that light up the night sky. The lights in the arches can dim, brighten and change colors.
The Promenade trail connects to two other Imagine Iowa Great Lakes projects -- a pedestrian boardwalk and the Berkley Bedell State Pier.
The boardwalk, which is made of Kebony, a sustainable wood product, stretches from Zephyr Street to the beach.
The pier has a 5,500-square-foot pedestrian plaza with a large fountain and reflecting pool with three stainless steel sail sculptures.
"We're just very thankful to them. They've done so much here at the park, and not only here at the park, but the whole area," Plumb said of Imagine Iowa Great Lakes. "Things are changing rapidly with their input."