This year’s recent Prairie Festival Community Band and Chorus concert had some special “cymbal”ism. There was a special dedication and the recognition of a new amphitheater name.
First the dedication. The concert was dedicated to Larry Anderson, who passed away this past summer. Anderson had been a trumpet player and charter member of the Community Band. He also spearheaded the building of Huxley’s amphitheater as one of the leaders of the Palestine Peppy Pushers 4-H Club. That’s where the new name comes in. The amphitheater is now named for that 4-H club, the Palestine Peppy Pushers Amphitheater.
After several years of having the concert performed at the school, it was wonderful that this year’s concert took place at the Palestine Peppy Pushers Amphitheater.
The following information about Anderson was read during the dedication:
“In the mid- to late-1990s Larry had a vision for the city of Huxley. The vision was to build an amphitheater in the area of the old railroad bed of Railroad Park. We wonder if the vision had anything to do with the Community Band and 4-H Band playing on Main Street or on flatbed trailers. After receiving the blessing of the City of Huxley to proceed with his plan he put the 4-H club into major fund raising mode. I’m sure several of you ate pancakes on Saturday mornings, bought firewood that was cut by parents and members, or bought a sno-cone or cotton candy from the PPP concession stand. Grants were written and received from KCCI/Casey’s Project Main Street, Huxley Communications Company, the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service/ISU Extension, and AAL. He and wife, Karen, worked very hard at helping the club raise the $45,000 it took to build this structure.
“Some of the materials for support walls, floor joists, and floor decking were donated. Also donated were some services, labor, and material discounts. Larry even had hook-ups for sound and lighting included in the design. Howe’s Welding of Ames helped to place the roof support beams in place with members and leaders installing the roof decking and shingles. The cleaning and priming of the bar joists happened just down the street. Epoxy paint was sprayed on and then all was welded in place. What a night that was taking all of the bar joists from Heinen Construction’s Quonset building using this side street on a flatbed trailer with the help of a few parents, 4-H’ers, and of course Larry and Karen.
“It was an amazing vision and project that will be enjoyed by the citizens of Huxley and the Ballard Community for many, many years.”