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Doubleheader, ribbon-cutting at Johnson Park

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt New Ulm Mayor Terry Sveine threw out the first pitch in the second game of doubleheader at Johnson Park’s grand reopening event. Admission to the two games was free and a special ribbon cutting ceremony was held to thank those who made the park improvements possible.

NEW ULM — The grand reopening of Johnson Park was celebrated with free admission to a doubleheader and ribbon-cutting event.

The President of the New Ulm Baseball Association (NUBA) Bob Skillings thanked everyone who made the day possible.

The Johnson Park improvements were one of the Reinvest in New Ulm (RENU) projects approved by voters in 2016. The project cost approximately $1.5 million and included renovating the grandstand and adding a new concession stand and observation deck.

The project was completed in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the ribbon-cutting ceremony until this year.

Along with the ribbon-cutting, the New Ulm Area Foundation funded the addition of a historic plaque at the park entrance honoring Fred Johnson, the namesake of the ballfield.

The New Ulm Park and Recreation Department also received an Award of Excellence from the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) for the project.

MRPA representative Joey Schugel said New Ulm Park and Recreation received the award for several reasons, including partnering with city organizations like NUBA and keeping a commitment to the RENU voters. The project also helps update a historic ballpark for generations to use.

Mayor Terry Sveine said his best memories of Johnson Park were watching the fireworks as a boy, meeting the Twins famous scout, Angelo Giuliani, and his Cathedral High School class of 1973 winning second place in the state. Many of the team’s victories were achieved at Johnson Park.

“Johnson Park has served a central role in New Ulm over the last 80 plus years and I’d like to acknowledge that role with this ribbon cutting,” he said.

Sveine would also throw out the opening pitch in the first second game of the doubleheader.

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