Located on the northeast side of Mattoon at 500 Broadway Avenue, Peterson Park is just one block north of Illinois Route 16 with two entrances, one at 5th Street and one at 3rd Street. Peterson Park is the City of Mattoon’s largest park.
Peterson was given to the City by Judge Abner M. Peterson in 1890 and was annexed into the City in 1903. Extensive improvements were done in 1907. In 1912 the addition of the baseball diamond and grandstand were built, which led to the organization of a city baseball league.
On June 4, 1968, the ball field was renamed “Grimes Field” after Bill Grimes and was the home to the 1969 Babe Ruth World Series for 15-year-olds. This was followed up with a Tournament of Champions for 16-18-year-olds in 1974. Over the years with the continued help of great volunteer organizations, baseball continues to grow and numerous tournaments such as the Babe Ruth Ohio Valley Regional, American Legion, State, and Regional, have all been held at Grimes Field.
This field is geared towards Babe Ruth 13-15-year-olds, American Legion Jr. and Sr. baseball leagues have a covered bleacher seating capacity of nearly 3,000. Anyone interested in posting advertising signs at Grimes Field, please call 217-234-3611.
In the spring of 2007, the city began asphalting the roads in the park and they were completed on May 18th, just in time for summer, making this park popular to walk around. One lap around the inside of the road is approximately 0.31 miles.
The Peterson house, the original home to the Peterson Family, is now the home to the Mattoon Chamber of commerce. Peterson has a ball field, a playground, a pavilion, Demars Center, a rotary band shell, restrooms, and picnic areas scattered throughout the park.
Peterson Park is home to countless family reunions, baby showers, wedding receptions, meetings, company picnics, etc. The pavilion, Demars Center, and Rotary Bandshell are available for rent.
The Pavilion at Peterson Park has 3 sections to the pavilion, east, center, and west. Electricity is available in each space by the counters.
The Demars Center is located in the back of the park and is a heated and air-conditioned building with a full kitchen.
The Rotary Bandshell is located in between the Pavilion and the Demars and has been home to concerts, weddings, fundraisers, etc.
For information on renting please contact the Park office at 217-234-3611 or Contact Parks at email@example.com.
Peterson Park is the home to Mattoon’s Tourism events. Bagelfest, which is held annually in July, originally started in 1986 downtown on Broadway Avenue and was moved to Peterson Park in 2000. Holiday Lightworks display runs from the weekend prior to Thanksgiving through Christmas. This light works display is the largest in the area and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
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