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Johnson Park to have Grand Re-opening on Sunday

NEW ULM — After a year’s delay due to the pandemic, the official Grand Re-Opening of the renovated Johnson Park will take place Sunday, June 20 with two games, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a ceremonial first pitch and the dedication of a plaque honoring Fred Johnson for whom the park is named after.

Johnson Park was was one of the recent RENU (Reinvest in New Ulm) projects in which approximately $1.5 million was spent renovating the grandstand and adding new concession stand and observation deck.

And the New Ulm Area Foundation funded the plaque at the entrance honoring the late Fred Johnson

The days events begin at 1 p.m. when New Ulm Legion Gold squares off against Sleepy Eye.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at approximately 3:30 p.m. at the entrance to Johnson Park to be followed by newly appointed Mayor Terry Sveine throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

That will be followed by a Tomahawk East League game between the New Ulm Brewers and Stark.

And as people who have attended games at Johnson know the food sold there is second-to-none.

New Ulm Baseball Association Concessions’ Chairman LeRoy Flor said that all of the usual foods will be available as well as Linda Flor’s homemade sauerkraut, 200 pork chops on a stick, home-made German potato salad and other items including drink specials for all day.

This will be a great day for New Ulm baseball as it honors all of the individuals who worked on this project and saw it through to give us one of the premier baseball fields in Minnesota for current and future players to play on.

But it also gives all of us the chance to honor the past and say “Thank You” to Fred Johnson and taking a few minutes to read the inscription on his plaque.

New Ulm Baseball Association President Bob Skillings said that Sunday is a culmination of years planning by a lot of people.

“We have invited ISG who designed the project and Webb who was the general contractor to the event on Sunday,” Skillings said. “ISG also did the renovation of Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato and that is why that field is now named ISG Field. They won some awards for it and that was probably why we chose them to do Johnson Park.”

Skillings said that the renovation of Johnson Park was a long time in coming.

“It was badly needed for many years from the roof on the grandstand to the concourse to the concession stand,” he said. “We were packed in the old concession stand and because of the new concession stand we were able to expand our food items and make it a greater fan experience at Johnson Park.

“The seating has been changed and we now have the observation deck — people can now stand on that concourse and have a place to put their drink and food and lean against. We are now ADA compliant. Everyone that has come to the park is very impressed and positive about the changes. Plus the two patios get used.”

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