The Restorative Powers of Melodrama

I've been pretty busy with my new job, library school, family vacation, and a volunteer publicity project I've been working on for the Indian Park School House Association. I was married at the Indian Park School on July 4 four years ago. My granddad went to school there in the '30s. I grew up less than a mile from the school. I relish the memory of deliciously spooky Halloween parties at the school, which has a pioneer cemetery on the grounds.

The 124-year-old Indian Park School House is showing its age, but the residents of rural western Douglas County aren’t about to let the historic building slip into days gone by. For the second year running, the Indian Park School House Association (IPSHA), and dozens of volunteers are staging a good old-fashioned melodrama at locations throughout Douglas County. Both of my daughters are in the cast.

This year’s performance is called Bulldog Saves the Day. Fittingly enough, the melodrama tells the story of a community’s endeavor to put a new roof on their local schoolhouse.

The first show is set for 1 p.m. on Friday, July 4 at the Indian Park School House (3313 N. Hwy. 67, 9.5 miles west of Sedalia) before Sedalia’s July 4 celebration (a July 4 parade will not be offered in Sedalia this year, but the famed firework show is still on at dusk). Bring a picnic and blanket. Light refreshments and fun souvenirs will be available for purchase. Tickets are $15, but ages 75+ are free. Children’s tickets will be $5 for this show only.

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 9 and Sunday, August 10, Bulldog Saves the Day heads to the historic Decker’s Hall and Resort (8570 S. Hwy. 67, along the S. Platte River Rd., at the junction of Hwy.s 126 & 67). Light refreshments and fun souvenirs will be available for purchase. Tickets are $15, but ages 75+ are free.

Also, watch for two shows at the Cherokee Castle in September. Ticket prices have not been determined as of yet, but all proceeds will benefit restoration of the Indian Park School House.

Are you a musician, comedian or storyteller? IPSHA is still seeking talented volunteers for “olio” talent highlights between the acts of the melodrama.

The historic Indian Park School House is listed on the Colorado and National registers of Historic Places. Restoration efforts, including an archaeological dig, begin the first week of July. The United States Forest Services’ Pikes Peak/South Park/South Platte Ranger District is providing an archaeologist, free of charge, as a special outreach project. IPSHA is seeking volunteers for the dig and construction.

For more information about the Indian Park School House, the melodrama, restoration, building availability and charitable donations, or to volunteer as an olio performer or with the archaeological dig or construction, please call Patty McDonough at 303-688-8357.

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