The Eddy Pavilion in Wenonah Park was built in 1916 and served until the 1980s.
PAVILION LAUNCH SET: Musical Events to Use New Wenonah Park Facility
May 5, 2018
By: Dave Rogers
A project envisioned more than 100 years ago -- a pavilion in Wenonah Park -- has finally come to fruition.
The new Nickless Family Pavilion, slated for completion May 30, will be used for several events this summer along with the rest of the park, according to Mike Bacigalupo, the chief operating officer of the State Theatre which is handling events in the park.
There was a pavilion in the park, built in 1916 with funds donated by Mr. J. Frank Eddy, in honor of her late husband. It provided shelter and public restrooms and remained a focal point of the park for decades until the park was renovated in the 1980s and the pavilion was torn down. One reason for its demise was to make way for an underground water retention basin for stormwater overflows.
In 1907, city voters approved a $200,000 bond issue for the hotel and park, projects which included acquisition and razing of six business buildings fronting on Water Street.
Use of the park for public entertainment was implicit from the beginning, the Daily Tribune commented: Wenonah Park was built with the idea of giving the people of Bay City and its visitors a place to while away the hours and a place of recreation. Since its erection, the only form of amusement created for the people was by the city's merchants who hired the Twenty-Third Regiment band to give weekly concerts.
The park commission in 1915 approved the petition of boatbuilder W. J. Ouellette to operate a boat livery from a floating boathouse in the Sixth Street slip.
The Bay City Daily Tribune in 1910 opined about the Wenonah Hotel and Wenonah Park, proclaiming: "No better investment has ever been made by the people of Bay City."
Another smaller pavilion, of similar style and construction, was erected in Carroll Park in 1916 and is still standing and in use today.
Wenonah Park is slated for a fast start this summer, with the City Commission taking up requests for three events at Monday's City Commission meeting.
The commission agenda for Monday, May 7 includes the following items, all recommended for approval by City Manager Dana Muscott:
Michael Bacigalupo of the State Theatre of Bay City, on behalf of Ken Shelton
Promotions, requesting permission to hold the Bay City Country Music Festival event,
June 22-23, 2018, using Wenonah Park.
*Michael Bacigalupo of the State Theatre of Bay City, on behalf of River Scene Music
Festival, requesting permission to hold the River Scene Music Festival event, June 2 & 3,
2018, using Wenonah Park.
*Michael Bacigalupo of the State Theatre of Bay City, on behalf of Ken Shelton
Promotions, requesting permission to hold the Brett Young Concert event, August 11,
2018, using Wenonah Park.