Cassopolis prepares to unveil new beach project with June event

CASSOPOLIS — These days, Cassopolis’ Stone Lake looks unrecognizable.

Where there was once nothing, there is now a sandy beach, a brand-new pier, connector path, boat launch, pavilion, picnic tables, speaker-equipped lampposts, benches and more.

“It looks completely different than it did two years ago,” said Village Manager Emilie Sarratore as she stared out into the clear blue lake located just steps away from Broadway Street in Cassopolis. “[The project] is going to drive tourism and economic development to Cassopolis.”

The new developments come as the result of a beach project more than three years in the making. The beach project is part of the downtown development projects identified by 2018’s Imagine Cass Project. The beach and pier projects alone represent $2.5 million in investments, while all downtown development projects total nearly $15 million, paid for both with grants and capital improvement funds.

“There was just a feeling that it was time to invest in the community,” Sarratore said. “It’s amazing what this village has been able to accomplish.”

“When it was just plans on paper, it didn’t seem real at all,” added Department of Public Works Superintendent and Cassopolis Main Street representative Ben Anderson. “Now, it is so real that it’s surreal. I can’t even believe this is here. I never in my life did I think this would happen.”

With construction nearing completion, the community is preparing to celebrate in style. With Cassopolis Main Street, the village will host a Beach Bash event to unveil the new beach June 4-5. The event will feature live music, food, fireworks and more.

According to Anderson, the Beach Bash has garnered community support and raised more funds than any other event hosted in Main Street’s history.

“People are excited,” he said. “The residents need to know that we are worth it. For so long, there was nothing here, so we need to celebrate this because it is a big deal.’

With all signs pointing toward the event’s success, Anderson and Sarratore said they hope to make the Beach Bash an annual event.

“We did it, but we’ve got to keep doing it,” Anderson said. “You have to keep going forward.”

“We have to keep things moving,” Sarratore added. “We can’t stop because there is so much here. I’m excited for this community and all the opportunities that are coming our way still.”

 

A full schedule of events for the beach bash is as follows:

Friday, June 4

  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Food trucks will be located at Food Truck Row at the beach.
  • 1 to 8 p.m. — Free kayak, paddleboard and paddleboat rentals will be at the beach.
  • 1 to 5 p.m.— A “Chalk the Wall” event will take place at the beach allowing visitors to create chalk drawings on the beach’s retaining wall.
  • 1 to 3 p.m. — The Cass District Library will have a children’s tent set up at the beach with cornhole, summer reading supplies, library card sign up and giveaways.
  • 4 p.m. to midnight — A beer garden will be located at the Sinclair Station.
  • 5 to 10:30 p.m. — Live music will be played at the pavilion.

 

Saturday, June 5

  • 9 a.m. — A “Super Fun Color Run,” sponsored by the Cass District Library, will take place at the Cass County Council on Aging, 60525 Decatur Road, Cassopolis.

      • 10 a.m. — A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at the beach arches.

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — A “Chalk the Wall” event will take place at the beach allowing visitors to create chalk drawings on the beach’s retaining wall.
  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — A free children’s area will be located at the Log Cabin Museum. The area will feature a climbing wall, a dunk tank, temporary tattoo station and more.
  • 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Free kayak, paddleboard and paddleboat rentals will be at the beach.
  • 11 a.m. to midnight — A beer garden will be located at the Sinclair Station.
  • Noon to 4 p.m. — A cornhole tournament will be hosted at the Sinclair Station.
  • 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. — Live music will be played at the pavilion.
  • 8:30 p.m. — The Class of 2021 will be given a sendoff at the pavilion.
  • 10:45 p.m. — Fireworks will be launched over Stone Lake.

 

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