ST. CLOUD -- A ribbon cutting ceremony to open the new Lake George Performance Stage was held this afternoon (Tuesday).

Last fall construction began to build a bandshell at Lake George for bands to play on during Summertime By George.

St. Cloud Rotary President Steve Joul says the stage turned out great.

"It is incredible, our club is really excited and all of us who are involved in the club are excited to see this finished," says Joul.

The St. Cloud Rotary club and the city of St. Cloud partnered on the project, which began to take shape during Drew Hultgren's time as rotary president.

"We said you know we have something we could use so let's put that stage idea into focus and let's start pursuing that," says Hultgren.

The cost of the stage was around $260,000, the city paying for half of the cost with half-cent sales tax dollars, and the Rotary Club paying for the other half.

Joul says they were in the process of collecting funds when they received a special surprise.

"Right before Christmas last year we receive the best Christmas present," says Joul. "We heard that a donor wanted to pay our full share of $130,000. It really took our breath away."

Joul says they contacted different bands to make sure the stage designs would fit their needs.

"The builders did a number of things to make sure the acoustics are great, that there is enough room to have a variety of different performances on this stage," says Joul.

The Third Annual Summertime By George concert series kicks off tomorrow (Wednesday).


St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis (left) and Rotary President Steve Joul (center) cut the ribbon of the new Lake George Performance Stage. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)