Visitors to Kemp's Wildflower Festival on April 12 will get the first glimpse of the city's new concert stage in use.
Mayor Laura Hanna Peace announced recently that a century-old iron rail bridge languishing behind the Kemp Post Office will be transformed into a concert stage and relocated next to the City Park in time for the festival. The festival will feature musicians playing on the new stage that will permanently sit on a now-vacant lot across from the park.
Peace hopes the Wildflower Festival will be successful and become an annual event. A large group of Kemp natives and their friends are planning a reunion to coincide with the festival.
Peace said she is excited about the bridge project because she believes it will attract new entertainment and visitors to the city.
The old bridge was once used as a crossing over Kings Creek on the outskirts of the city. When the bridge was replaced about five years ago, it was donated to the city by Kaufman County.
The bridge is owned by the city's Economic Development Corp. and so is the land. The City Council oversees the EDC.
Peace said the renovation and relocation of the bridge will cost the city about $10,000. At least some of the money will be recouped from donations, and the EDC has already earmarked money for the bridge project, council members said.
The mayor said all Kemp natives are familiar with the old bridge, and she expects it will interest visitors to the city. The new stage can be used for other community celebrations' entertainment as well, she noted.
Over the years many young people scrawled messages on the old bridge, and it was sometimes a hang out spot.
Pictures of the bridge and the lot where it will be placed are shown below.