HARROD — A pavilion built two years ago was finally dedicated Sunday in Harrod.
The Parker Pavilion, on Main Street, has been used during the Pork Rind Festival as a location for cooking the salty snack.
During the festival, organizers used to use tents that would sometimes become less than adequate when it rained, and the hot grease didn’t react well when hit by rain.
“We received this from the Parker family. It actually had a restaurant, an old confectionary restaurant here. They gave it to the village. The village did have to pay to knock the restaurant down because it was old and in pretty bad shape. We had this for quite some time. It was an open lot,” said Tony Blake, president of both the Pork Rind Festival committee and Harrod Village Council.
Victor and Captolia Parker opened Parker’s Confectionary in 1930. A sign at the dedication said the business was a local hangout for kids after school and had a pool hall and card room for adults. There were rows of old time candy and ice cold soda, the coffee was strong and the tall tales were rich.
Before it was the confectionary, it served traveling salesmen as a hotel and restaurant.
The Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Parks District provided a $20,000 grant to help erect the pavilion and many local businesses and individuals helped with the labor.
Many of the relatives of the Parker’s came out to the dedication.
“This is wonderful. It’s a good thing they’re doing for my mom and dad who worked here for 60-some years. They were kind of the founding fathers of the town, really,” said Steven Parker.
“After my dad passed away, I kept it for a couple of years, never opened it back up,” he added.
Originally, something else was supposed to go here.
“Originally, they were going to build a library here. But the library is down on the old middle school and so they left it there, so they really didn’t do anything with this for years,” he said.
During the dedication, Blake talked about the history of the property and people gathered under the pavilion’s roof for free food, reminiscing about the Parkers and the confectionary.
“My mother and I really appreciate everything that everybody’s done to put this together. This was all donated work and I hope they enjoy it for years,” Parker added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.