Second Set of Stage Steps Built with Lioness Leadership

Standing on the newly-constructed stage steps in Triangle Park are the parties responsible for the project (left to right): Volunteer builder Butch Hanson, Lioness Becky Lacasse, Lioness Mary Jean Redding, Lioness Lorraine Mitchell, and Hammond Lumber Branch Manager Donald Fenderson. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

Taking the stage in Calais just got a bit easier thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Lionesses, Butch Hanson and Hammond Lumber. The group pulled together to produce a second set of steps for the stage in Triangle Park, an addition that will lend to ease and safety for the hundreds of individuals that utilize the stage throughout the year.

“Because the stage is used so often, we felt the second set would be beneficial – not only for the bands who lug equipment up and down but for the kiddos who come to see Santa after our parade,” explained Lioness Jayna Smith. “It’s been so difficult having excited little ones going up while at the same time excited little ones are coming down the same set!”

The Lionesses have had the notion to replace the steps for quite some time, but it was Mary Jean Redding that picked up the ball and ran with it. She contacted Hammond Lumber to request a donation of the materials needed, and Branch Manager Donald Fenderson was quick to reply.

“There was a need in the community and we are in a position to help with the need,” Fenderson said. “I was approached by the Lionesses about their desire to address the issue of another set of steps on the park stage and felt that being able to donate the materials for this project was a great addition to the park stage and the community events that are held there. With that in mind, Hammond Lumber Company, Calais branch was more than happy to be able to help.”

With the materials secured, the next step was finding someone to do the work. Butch Hanson, a skilled local handyman and musician, was an obvious choice. “I’m one of the fortunate ones that get to play up here three to four times a year,” Hanson said. A member of Saturday Night Rock Band and the newly-formed BBCR, Hanson describes the Triangle Park stage as easily one of the best venues in Washington County.

“I’ve been playing music around the area for a long time,” Hanson shared. “So, this is kind of special to me. It’s always needed a second set of steps, especially when you’ve got kids up there and everybody’s coming down on the same steps and bumping into each other.”

The steps receive significant use during the Lionesses’ Christmas event with Mr. and Mrs. Claus as well as during the International Festival when Sunday Funday is held. “Sunday Funday, there are just tons of kids here up on the stage,” Hanson said. “We bring the Beckett Center people up and hook them up with tambourines. It’s the coolest.”

Hanson encountered a few minor obstacles in building the steps, including a brief power supply fiasco, but generally had no issues. The task that consumed the most time was uprooting the bushes in the front of the left-hand side of the stage.


With mirrored steps on both sides, the Triangle Park stage is ready for several more seasons of excitement in Downtown Calais.