Shelbyville Daily Union

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May 16, 2014

Chautauqua Days offers family activities May 30-June 1

Inside Forest Park in Shelbyville sits a large round building. This building, perhaps the only one of its kind left in the nation, is 111 years old.

The Chautauqua building was the center of many activities during the early 1900s. Political speakers, revival services, plays, concerts were held there as people came to stay in temporary lodgings around the structure.

The "Grand Ole Lady" will be celebrated May 30 - June 1 in the Chautauqua Days event in Forest Park.

Surrounding the auditorium will be food, craft and merchandise vendors, kids' games, music, and guest speakers.

"The objective of the Chautauqua Days is make an awareness and fundraising event for restoring the Chautauqua building," saed "Save Our Chautauqua Committee chairman Brenda Elder. "Not everyting has a charge, but there will be donation jars available for those who want to donate."

The building has suffered from years of neglect and the committee is working to raise funds to restore the building to its former glory.

The plans for the restoration is in phases so that the building may be reopened to its usefulnes. The first project is getting the roof fixed.

"We have approximately $130,000 already raised, but it is going to take a lot more," Elder said.

Chautauqua Days plans include A Family Pool party at the Shelbyville Aquatic Center Friday, May 30, from 8:15 to 10:15 p.m. Music will be provided by Kerry Campbell's All Kindz of Soundz DJ service. Admission is by donation.

Vendors will be open in the park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 1.

The welcoming ceremony wil begin at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Battle Creek Band will play Country music from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. followed by Ed Boedecker with a presentation about Shelbyville artist Robert Root and Lincoln historian John Lupton with a presentation on Authenticating the Signature of Abraham Lincoln at 1:30 and 2 p.m. respectively.

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