Chester invites community to Master Plan workshops Oct. 22;
FOLA eyes live streaming at Ludlow Auditorium in 2017

Chester holds Master Plan workshops for artists, businesses, community

The Town of Chester invites all residents to participate in a community focus group discussion for its ongoing development of the Chester Village Center Master Plan from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Town Hall, 556 Elm St.

telegraph-logoThis all-day workshop will include focused group discussions on a wide array of topics, opportunities for one-on-one conversations, sharing of ideas, hopes and concerns related to the long-term vision for Chester Village Center.

Background information on these topics will be available to spur conversations. Everyone is welcome to drop in for just a few minutes or stay for the entire day. Light refreshments will be available during the event and kids are welcome to attend.


8 to 10 a.m.
Focus on Arts, Culture and History

  • How does the arts, culture and history of Chester make it a special place?
  • What role does art play in defining Chester?
  • What best describes Chester’s culture?
  • How has the history of Chester evolved and shaped the community of today?

10 a.m. to noon
Focus on Retail and Local Businesses

  • How are local businesses doing?
  • How is the job market?  Where do people work?
  • Are local needs being served?  What is missing?
  • How do visitors feel about local retail?
  • Is parking adequate?  Do people know where to go?
  • What could improve the vibrancy of retail in Chester Village?

1 to 3 p.m.
Focus on Food and Lodging

  • How are local restaurants doing? What about lodges?
  • Is local food or agricultural products offered?
  • What message is communicated to visitors?
  • How is the visitor experience changed outside of the lodging establishment?

3 to 5 p.m.
Focus on Recreation and Agriculture

  • What recreational attractions define Chester?
  • How is walking and biking in the Village?  What are the challenges?
  • How has Chester’s agricultural community changed?  What is the focus of activity in 2016 and beyond?

FOLA working toward live streaming

Friends of Ludlow Auditorium will introduce the ability to stream live programming for the benefit of its audiences in 2017.

Programs could include Broadway musicals, sporting events and national public interest events, as they actually are occurring. FOLA plans to acquire the various equipment needed to present selected events that are carried over the Internet. This will give it the advantage of having many entertainment and public interest venues available at a reduced cost.

According to Ralph Pace, FOLA chairman, the first year’s activity will concentrate on Broadway musicals and selected plays and events that will benefit the local education system. Among the Broadway musicals that will be included in the 2017 FOLA calendar are Gypsy, Cats, Kiss Me Kate and Phantom of the Opera – all with Broadway casts.

To enable this feature, FOLA will seek to raise funds for the quality equipment necessary to provide a streaming capability.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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  1. Barre Pinske says:

    I was able to attend the first two meetings I thought the first one went especially well. As a concerned citizen, business owner and member of the steering committee, I hope the plan gets us all moving in the same direction.

    We have energy and talent but I feel if community leaders were put in a van to go catch us some fish, they could not decide on which lake to fish in leaving us empty handed. If the plan is successful it should be clear what direction we should go. In my opinion we, meaning the community, have been way to conservative and not receptive of ideas and efforts.

    In doing the Big Buzz in Cavendish this year I got a much better perspective of the bubble Chester is it really needs to be popped. I see this town a bit like the guy at the school dance who thinks he’s the coolest but can’t get a girl to dance. Our Mom and Pops are struggling, real estate values are way down and sales are slow.

    We have much more potential than neighboring towns to be successful. I have said that since I arrived here. We have a mostly charming town and Rte.103 is a gold mine. I think power struggles, fears and an overbearing conservativism of community leaders have got in the way potential success.

    We are not fishing and if you don’t have a line in the water you can’t catch anything plain and simple the plan should at least help get us get moving in the same direction. I encourage everyone to participate in the plan.

    This is a great chance to have your ideas and desires heard. This is a great opportunity. It’s time we work together and support each in reaching our common goals. Thank you to all involved in getting the grant and leading our town forward.