The fields are ready for players and the concession stands are ready for fans.
After more than four years of planning, working and raising funds to restore the fields which once served young and aspiring ballplayers from Maysville and the surrounding area, Wald Park is ready to return to its roots.
On Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m., the community is invited to join in a celebration marking the official opening of the park located on Lexington Street near the intersection of Kentucky 11.
It was July 2014, when the property on Lexington Street was purchased through private funds, and a portion of the purchase price donated by the prior owners, Jones and Verville LLC, in memory of the late Ruby D. Jones and Robert J. Verville.
The initial intention of the group was to have the field used exclusively for St. Patrick School events. That philosophy changed as meetings were held, and it was decided to create a park complex that “would complement the community as a whole and provide an athletic facility that would be available for community use as well as for St. Patrick.”
The next step taken by the group was to establish a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, Wald Park, Inc.
The non-profit organization’s mission statement is “To establish, operate and maintain a first-class multi-sport complex, where the youth of Maysville and surrounding communities can compete in baseball, softball and soccer. We will focus competition at all levels with our focus on instruction, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship, honesty and integrity.”
“The outpouring of support from the community to make this happen has been unbelievable,” said board member Dr. Josh Owens, “We are ready for the community and the youth in this area to enjoy the park!”
Board member Joanne Pawsat said while the park has a place in Maysville’s history, Saturday’s event will mark a new beginning.
“Saturday is going to be about now and the future,” she said as she encouraged families to come see the park and bring their children with them.
Owens said he is anxious for Saturday’e opening.
“It’s amazing to me how many folks in this area have memories from their childhood at this park. It great to see it restored to be used again to make new childhood memories,” he said.
The grand opening will include a flag raising ceremony featuring veterans, a home run derby, speakers with keynote speaker local sports historian Ron Bailey and a softball exhibition game. Refreshments will also be offered.
Rebuilding the park has been completed in phases with Phase I including excavation work, leveling fields and installing fences and Phase II was the construction of concession stands and restrooms, Owens said in a past interview.
Fund raising is still underway for Phase III which will include completing installation of lighting for the fields.
All donations to the park project are tax deductible and can be mailed to Wald Park, Inc. P.O. Box 607, Maysville, Ky. 41056.