January 13, 2021WOLFEBORO — The beautification of Wolfeboro's public spaces has made them ideal for enjoying the outdoors, putting the use of town parks, particularly Cate Park and the Community Bandstand, in demand by casual visitors, nonprofit events, concerts and an increasing number of weddings.
According to Executive Administrative Assistant Amy Muccio, over the last two years, the requests for events, in addition to the usually scheduled, and very popular, Wednesday and Saturday concerts have increased.
It falls upon Muccio to coordinate the numerous requests, with consideration of maintaining a park atmosphere for the general public.
Covid-19 has increased outdoor activity, and this past year, the Parks and Recreation Department relocated a number of town picnic tables to the park to allow downtown visitors to socialize, eat outside in the open air and enjoy watching the activity along the docks as boats come in and out.
Five weddings were scheduled in the park this past year, an uptick Muccio attributes to the popularity of Pickering House on South Main St. and the lakeside setting's attractiveness to brides and their wedding planners. Gradually, the size of the weddings have increased, she says, and naturally the larger the wedding, the more space that is required for chairs, and the longer the time needed for set up and take down.
Muccio and Parks and Recreation Director Christine Collins recently drafted a policy in an attempt to balance public and private use of this vibrant and active community space and streamline the application process. The policy, which offers information and guides applicants seeking to reserve use of Cate Park and the Community Bandstand and the Libby Museum boat launch for an event, gained final approval by the Board of Selectmen at its Jan. 6 meeting.
Applicants will be able to access the proper registration forms online through the facility rental link on the Parks and Recreation Department's website, which will also provide a calendar showing what times are already booked. Muccio will track and answer requests and move them forward to the selectmen for the usual final approval.
There will be a fee of $50 for wedding and event permits in addition to the usual insurance rider. Time is limited to a maximum of three hours, and no tents, chairs, furniture or other personal property is permitted. No wedding or event may include more than 50 persons at the Cate Park or Community Bandstand complex and not more than ten at the Libby Museum Park. More information in available in the policy itself.