BEDFORD - A project that had its origins in the 1990s will come to fruition this spring when the town marks the official opening of the Bedford Village Common on June 9.
It's a celebration to mark the grand opening of what Bedford Village Development Committee members anticipate will become a four-season meeting place.
"We're hoping that it eventually turns into Sunday afternoons in the park," said Beverly Thomas, chairman of the committee, referring to the bandstand where various musicians will be invited to perform during the summer months.
The bandstand is one focal point in the 9-acre parcel that also includes an ice skating pond that will have a warming hut. The bandstand will be called the Market Basket Bandstand after the supermarket company paid $25,000 for the naming rights, Thomas said.
"We're just thrilled to be nearing this opening," said Thomas. "This has been talked about and planned for many years. We hit some bumps along the way, but we've finally made it thanks to great community support."
The common, sandwiched between Bell Hill Road and Route 101, will be illuminated at night with period light poles evoking 19th century style gaslights. Numerous park benches are situated around the oval that surrounds the bandstand. A path that begins at the entrance to the common traverses a par of small fieldstone footbridges passing over a brook that winds through the property.
"We plan to have the pond area open next winter," said Thomas. "We wanted to assess how it froze before we opened it up for skating." She said the deepest part of the pond is about four feet.
"The plan is to put a warming hut in," Thomas said. "I'm not guaranteeing it's going to be in by next winter, but we're hoping."
Funding for the common came from a variety of sources that included impact fees from developers as well as an aggressive fundraising campaign over many years, said Thomas.
Also contributing to the effort is the Bedford Garden Club, which will be donating and planting perennials near the entrance to the common - marked by a pergola bought by the club that will be adorned with climbing rose on one end and maybe clematis vine on the other, said garden club president Jayne Spaulding.
The grand opening of the common will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. The Bedford High School marching band will provide the musical entertainment for the event, as will local keyboardists Paul Bordeleau. After the ribbon cutting and dedication of the bandstand, refreshments will be served. In the event of rain, the grand opening will take place the following Sunday, June 16, from 1 to 3 p.m.
"We just welcome people to come and bring chairs, blankets - even a picnic lunch," said Thomas. "The beauty of this place is that it's going to attract all age groups."firstname.lastname@example.org