John Shelton speaks to Rotary

John Shelton, director of Lebanon Parks and Recreation, shows Lebanon Rotarians a slide of the Route 66 murals and the recreated Nelson's Dream Village fountain at Boswell Park.

The Route 66 murals in Boswell Park have become a tourism draw for Lebanon, the director of Lebanon Parks and Recreation told the Lebanon Rotary Club today.

“It’s amazing to see the number of people who stop there for pictures,” John Shelton said.

Shelton gave Rotarians a detailed report on every Lebanon park. He called Route 66-themed Boswell Park “the most-noticed park in town” because of its prominent location on Elm Street/Route 66.

He showed slides of the park’s attractions, including those along 66 Mural Drive: the three murals, the recreated Nelson’s Dream Village fountain, the restored Camp Joy cabin, the Blue Star Memorial Garden, the Master Gardeners’ Butterfly Garden and the Route 66-themed playground. He also showed an aerial photo from the 2019 Lebanon Route 66 Festival.

On a list of upcoming projects, Shelton listed the amphitheater planned for Boswell Park, a project for which the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society has lobbied.

“We’re still in the design phase,” Shelton said. The front of the stage is expected to be 50 feet wide, the back 30 feet wide, with a 20-by-30 shelter in back.

The amphitheater will be built where the ballfield is now. Although Shelton didn’t mention the timeline at the Rotary meeting, the Route 66 Society has been told the amphitheater will be ready for the 2021 Lebanon Route 66 Festival.

No permanent seating is planned. But Shelton said: “You probably could put 1,000 people there.”

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