New England Lions Club debuts Burgers in The Park with new serving building

Burgers in the Park debuted this summer on Tuesday, June 10 at the Lions Park on Main Street in New England.

Richard Hegge serves out of the window of the new serving building at The Lions pavillion during Burgers in the Park
Richard Hegge serves out of the window of the new serving building at The Lions pavillion during Burgers in the Park

Posted June 13, 2014

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

Burgers in the Park debuted this summer on Tuesday, June 10 at the Lions Park on Main Street in New England. A tradition that runs almost 15 years, the patrons of this year could notice a drastic reboot of how the burgers are served this year.

The Lions Club erected a new serving building that will make it easier to put on the weekly event, both for the servers and the customers. Giving the workers a suitable area to work with, they can be more efficient in how they serve.

Also added to the park was some new paving that includes a handicap accessible entrance to the area.

Funds for the work were mostly from grants and money from the Burgers in the Park events, but much of the labor was volunteer work from around the town.

Three years ago they put in bathrooms, and still with the newest edition, the Club has enough room to continue to grow the park.

The idea of Burgers in the Park actually came from another Lions Club. John Plaggemeyer, Head of the Park Committee for the Lions, knew a member of another chapter that put on this kind of event, so he decided to try it out with the community of New England.

He (Plaggemeyer) envisioned it as an event that the whole community could come down and socialize with each other.

”To get people out, and reacquaint themselves with everybody again,” Plaggemeyer said.

Weather doesn’t seem to be an issue with this event either.

“In all the years we’ve done it, I’ve called it off three times for weather,” Plaggemeyer said. “And that’s amazing.”

The numbers reflect the success the Lions Club has seen since starting the event. Plaggemeyer said since the new additions, including renovations to the pavilion, number has increased 25-30 people each year. Last year it was estimated that they had on average about 300 people every Tuesday, with the highest Tuesday at 376.

Plaggemeyer also said that this is a “people’s park” and anyone can use it, but in order to reserve it you must sign up on the calendar located in City Hall.

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