Music was performed by The Swing Crew, Marco and David Reifsteck of Fiddlers 2, and the Ho-Chunk Nation who also had dancers perform.
The musicians and speakers spoke on the new stage which has speakers and sliding doors in back. Waldo Peterson was the MC for the event, and said he thought the project turned out beautifully.
“This is an amazing structure; we have so many people to thank for making it,” Peterson said.
The Friends of Mirror Lake have worked very hard to fund raise for this project by selling firewood, writing for grants, holding events and prioritizing this project for the last several years. It is a remarkable project and something that park visitors will enjoy for a very long time. The amphitheater is designed to be a venue for theater productions, nature programs, educational activities, weddings, music events, and a place for groups to use and visitors to enjoy.
The first guest speaker at the event was Ryder Will, Mirror Lake State Park superintendent. He said while he was a late comer to the project, he felt very fortunate to be able to see it through it at the end. He gave special thanks to the Friends and everyone in the DNR who helped make the facility possible.
“One thing we’ve talked about lately is one DNR, and how we all work together,” Will said. “I think this is a great example of this.”
Cindy Cseri, Friends of Mirror Lake president, said the project first started in 2011 when the DNR gave $15,000 for renovation. The project grew much larger and eventually turned into the stage and rock seating there today. The DNR donated most of the money for the seating and help from the DNR, Mirror Lake Rentals and Ho-Chunk Nation made the stage possible.
Dan Schuller, director of Parks and Recreation, said the state parks have a responsibility in law to protect the natural wonders of the state. He thanked all the construction crews, significant donors, Ho-Chunk Nation and the DNR.
“This is a true partnership in all respects of the word,” Schuller said.
Amphitheaters have always been a part of the DNR system, but Mirror Lake has something different, he said. The venue will provide opportunities for teaching, music, theater and weddings. It will be a place to make memories.
“How wonderful that now in this area of the Wisconsin Dells where fun meets nature that we can have yet another asset for our visitors to enjoy,” Klavas said. “Come for the waterpark, and stay for the amphitheater.”
Ho-Chunk Nation was represented by Collin Price, director of public relations. He said the amphitheater was beautiful, which everyone can see, but people can’t see the hard work that went into it. He also expressed what a true partnership the project was.
“The Ho-Chunk Nation is proud to be partners and friends with the entire staff here,” Price said.
The final speaker was Cathy Stepp, DNR secretary. She said thanked everyone for the work they did on the project and keeping the park a clean and pleasant place to visit.
“You have all made me a better and more enriched person,” Stepp said.
After the speakers were done the official ribbon cutting took place. Food and drinks were provided by Ishnala Supper Club.
The amphitheater has already hosted its first wedding and has more planned for the summer. Information about the friends can be found at http://friendsofmirrorlake.org.