The Deception Pass Park Foundation, along with the state park, are trying to raise $10,000 to complete the park’s amphitheater stage by May 1, in time for summer programs.
Though the park’s amphitheater has been around for decades, the stage has always been lacking, according to Park Manager Jack Hartt.
Park Foundation President Barbara Shaw said that, after nearly four years, the permits are now in hand and the foundation is ready for its vision to become a reality.
The amphitheater does not live up to the grandeur of the rest of the park, said Shaw, adding there is no power available.
In the past, an extensive array of extension cords and generators had to be used during presentations.
The amphitheater is used for myriad events, including the Arts in the Park Concert series held in July. It’s also used to host guest speakers, weekend and evening events, and the Junior Ranger program.
“The completion of this stage project will bring the amphitheater into the 21st century,” Shaw said. “It desperately needs to be done.”
The foundation already has $15,000 set aside for the project, but a lot more was involved than originally thought in the permitting process which cost over $4,000, Shaw said.
The project is estimated to cost a total of $17,000, Shaw said.
Hartt said he is hoping to bring costs down and complete the project under budget.
“Most people don’t realize that the fees they pay to get into Deception Pass State Park don’t go directly to support that park,” he said.
Rather, the money goes into a general fund that supports less visited park in the state, Shaw said.
Deception Pass is the crown jewel of state parks in Washington and the most visited by far, Hartt said, adding that the park only receives funds for essential operations, and the amphitheater project is not considered essential.
The most recent improvements to the amphitheater was the remodeling of the seating in 2012 by Eagle Scout Nathan Wagner, Hartt said.
The current setup is otherwise inadequate for presentations or performances, he said.
The foundation will be providing the materials and to save on cost, Shaw said, and the work will be done by park staff and volunteers.
The foundation received approval to create a giving wall on the back of the stage where project donors can have their names permanently added to brass or bronze plaques.
Donation breakdowns are $25 for a one-year membership to the foundation, $100 for business membership, $200 for brass plaque, $500 for a business brass plaque and $1000 for a bronze plaque.