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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Virginia Gardens Memorial Park Dedicated

This week in Rock Springs Park history, The Virginia Gardens Memorial Park in Chester was dedicated and the first annual Rock Springs Festival was held starting on July 25, 1983.

The East Liverpool Evening Review reported on Saturday, July 23, 1983, “Memories of a colorful bit of local history will be recalled anew this week, as Chester area residents prepare for the first Rock Springs Park festival. Dedication ceremonies are planned Monday evening for the Rock Springs Memorial Park, a small section of fenced land at Carolina Ave. and Sixth St. where the City Planning Commission hopes to locate a permanent museum for park memorabilia. The ceremonies which will feature the first ‘Miss Virginia Gardens,’ Lori Theiss, and her court, are to be part of a four-day celebration.”

There was also a plan to build a small cement block structure to serve as a museum in the park . “Planning Commission member Anne Ford said the commission may consider a 'buy a block' program to help with funding.” The city also applied for funds under the Governor’s Emergency Employment Program to build the structure, but it never came to fruition.

Planners intended the festival to become an annual event and it did continue for several years but ended in the late 80s.

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