New amphitheater to come to Jacksonville by spring of 2016

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Folks in Jacksonville can expect to see more live music and theatrical shows in the coming months, thanks to a new amphitheater being built.

For now, it’s mostly dirt piles and large pits – but by the spring of 2016, Jacksonville’s amphitheater will come alive with live music, theatrical shows and large crowds, something City Manager Richard Woodruff says folks love.

With the current Riverwalk Park being too small to accommodate large crowds, Woodruff says this nearly 5,000 square foot venue is just what the city needs.

“What we know is that other communities that have these amphitheaters find that if you build it, it will get full, it will get used,” said Woodruff.

The seating area will hold up to 500 people and face a ground level concrete stage with a pond as a backdrop.

The amphitheater will be in Richard Ray Park, which already has restrooms, trails, a playground and shelters.

Something one woman says will urge her family to stay local when looking for things to do on the weekend.

“We travel a lot around the area and not so much in Jacksonville to do things so I think the more they can do here the better for the community and it’ll help out a lot because most of the community is military families,” said Cecily Hawsey.

The project cost the city about 130,000 dollars.

Woodruff says that money was reinvested into the park after the city recently sold two acres of land nearby.

Costs may also add up because the parking area still needs upgrades.

“We’re excited about this opportunity, we believe the theater will be heavily utilized,” said Woodruff.

The project should be complete by the spring of 2016.

Woodruff says folks can expect a grand opening to happen during the Jacksonville Jamboree.

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