Parades, events, approval of disc golf course expansion, new staff and more took focus for the St. Clair Parks Department.
Approximately 20-25 different groups participated in the St. Clair space-themed eclipse parade Friday, Aug. 18. It was a kickoff to the eclipse weekend.
Parade participants were the St. Clair High marching band, church groups, emergency personnel and multiple businesses.
The parade ended at Orchard Park with fireworks.
“The big focus was the eclipse,” City Administrator Travis Dierker said.
“That was a huge success. No major hiccups. The park board worked together, everybody participated.”
Among the thousands who came to St. Clair for the solar eclipse Aug. 21, visitors were scattered at Orchard Park, Evergreen Park and the downtown park.
Light the Sky
The Boo! Bash event was replaced with the Light the Sky event, which took place at Orchard Park Oct. 28.
Approximately 700 lanterns dotted the skyline that night. It was a free event sponsored by Roots Church. For the first one, Pastor Jason Gaszak said it was successful despite the cold weather.
Activities included crafts, face painting, barrel rides, hayrides, a chili cook-off, a 3-on-3 basketball match, a washers tournament, a children’s costume contest, 60 vendors, live music and more.
The park board had a booth at the event where they provided candy, games and more. A Snapchat filter also was created for the event as an added feature for social media posts.
Dozens of people participated in the St. Clair Lighted Christmas Parade, Saturday, Dec. 2. Decorated floats and vehicles traveled down streets where many gathered to watch the parade. Participants also handed out candy to children.
The parade started at Evergreen Park on Park Avenue, then it headed to South Main Street, then to East Springfield, then to Bardot Street, and ended at St. Clair High School.
Five float awards were given out. St. Clair R-XIII School District Bus Garage received third place, the city of St. Clair and park board received second place, IBEW Local No. 2 received first place, Parkway Church of the Nazarene received the Spirit of Christmas award, St. Clair Club Scouts Pack 449 received the honorable mention award and Glen’s Outdoor Service received the Mayor’s Choice Award.
Dierker said it was “the largest Christmas parade we’ve had.”
Disc Golf Course Expansion
At the November meeting, the park board approved East Central Disc Golf Club’s proposal of adding another nine baskets to the course at Evergreen Park.
During the meeting, John Dykhuizen, treasurer, said the club is in the process of raising funds to build the additional nine baskets, which will be located on the spray park side.
The cost for the first nine baskets was approximately $5,000.
In order for St. Clair to maintain that status and keep up the competition with other cities, Dykhuizen said the course should expand to a tournament course, the full 18 baskets.
In addition to paying for the added disc golf baskets, ECC Disc Golf members will maintain that area of the park as well such as picking up trash and cutting the lawn, similar to how they maintain the current course.
Dykhuizen assured the park board that the baskets will not affect those by the pavilion, splash park or those on the walking trail.
Dierker told The Missourian that the design plans that were presented during the meeting have been approved.
In September, a staircase and a Patrick R. Saling memorial flower garden were completed at Evergreen Park, across from the disc golf course by East Central Disc Golf Club members.
The project was made possible by donations from Pioneer Termite and Pest and owner Andy Saling. The concrete work was done by Chad Cox and Josh Gildehaus.
Over the summer, several St. Clair residents painted benches and picnic tables at Orchard Park.
In mid-spring, there was a change in park staff. Dierker said Geof Aslinger who was the park superintendent Geof Aslinger left; Clarance Howard, who was working part time, became the park supervisor; and Keith McCowen was transferred from public works the to parks department.
“They’ve really worked to utilize any equipment that they have; kind of take some old equipment and get it working again,” Dierker said.
The current Park Board president is Dana Collins-Messex. The board members are Karen McGlenn, John Blevins, Kim Blevins, Jack Blevins, Aney Dierker, Amanda Slater, Jamie Frossard and Nicole Wink.
Dierker said the park board will be focused on planning events for the city’s 175th anniversary coming up later this year.