Editorial: Coming next year and worth the waitRiver Falls has had its share of fun and excitement lately. The weekend before last, crowds flocked outdoors to Main Street for St. Patrick’s Day activities, including the wild and crazy bed races.
River Falls has had its share of fun and excitement lately. The weekend before last, crowds flocked outdoors to Main Street for St. Patrick’s Day activities, including the wild and crazy bed races.
Last weekend at the high school, a mix of play, pleasure and solemn observances and speeches marked the always impressive and well-attended Relay for Life annual cancer-fighting fundraiser. At the same time, large downtown crowds sampled a variety of indoor and outdoor performances for the second annual Roots and Bluegrass Music Festival.
This Saturday the high school takes over as the new permanent site for the Easter Egg Hunt, brought to you by the Local Lions club. Many hundreds of children and their adult guardians and volunteers will come together for a joyful couple of hours.
Looking ahead, in another year many people will be unusually eager for the start of the baseball season. The amateur team the Fighting Fish — 2011 state champions — is expected to take the field in a new little ballpark with covered grandstand in July 2013.
A fundraising campaign is underway and groundbreaking at Hoffman Park East could be just a month or two off.
Hoffman Park, already bustling with summer softball leagues, will heat up on the other side with baseball games. The local American Legion team is also expected to play at the new stadium along with other youth baseball teams.
Without a field designed for baseball specifications, baseball — unlike softball — has long been underserved in River Falls. The high school fields a decade ago helped change that.
But the new ballpark at Hoffman will be a beauty and designed with amenities for spectators to heighten their enjoyment of games played there. Baseball in River Falls will finally get its due.
It will be exciting to watch the ballpark take shape during construction season this year. Credit goes to City Hall and the River Falls Baseball Council for cooperating toward a lease for the 7.7 acres to be used as the site for the ballpark and parking lot at Hoffman.
The umpire’s cry of play ball, the pitcher’s windup, the pounding of gloves, the crack of bat meeting ball, and the ensuing action will be easier and easier to visualize as the new ballpark rises before our eyes.
The Journal’s online poll question this week asked:What is your interest level for the amateur baseball stadium planned for Hoffman Park East? Early responses:
--Moderate, might be OK to drop by for a game or two, watch the action, have a beer, chat with friends, 36.8%
--Minimal, the summer baseball games at night will likely cause more traffic issues and other disturbances on that side of town, 36.8%
--Ecstatic, off the charts, should be fantastic outdoor summer entertainment and bring people to River Falls, 26.3%
To vote on this question, go to www.riverfallsjournal.com and scroll down the middle of the page to “Poll.”