UPDATE: April 8, 2016
Workmen made significant progress Thursday, April 7, in construction of the new stage for outdoor performances in New Albany’s Park Along the River.
Using the small “Bearcat” excavator seen in the background, the workers dug the trenches for the foundation footing and poured the concrete that will support the structure. The front of the stage will be semicircular in shape.
The new stage is expected to be complete in time for the first performance of the Levitt AMP series of 10 free public concerts this summer.
April 7, 2016 post
Workmen installed elevation markers Wednesday to commence construction of the Riverview Stage at New Albany’s Park-Along-the-River. The workers used an electronic transit system to assure accuracy. The stage will be used for outdoor performances such as those during the Tallahatchie Riverfest and the Freedom Fest, as well as be open to community groups and promoters for other events.
Funding for the new stage was made available last year when State Representative Margaret Rogers of New Albany secured funding for a $175,000 grant from the State of Mississippi for improvements to recreational facilities. She guided the appropriation through the legislature and had it signed by the governor at the request of Sean Johnson, marketing and tourism director for the City of New Albany.
The permanent installation, which will be a berm style stage with decking and a stylish “shade sail” canvas top, will cost around $100,000 to construct. Much of the materials for the work has been on site for several days. Work will proceed as weather permits.
The Riverview Stage is bounded on the right by the left bank of the Little Tallahatchie River and on the left by a small “wet-weather branch” which flows into the Tallahatchie down river from the stage location. The seating area of the Riverview Stage is expected to accommodate at least 8,000 people.
New Albany is one of 15 communities nationwide to have been awarded a grant from the Levitt Foundation of New York to fund a free outdoor concert series this year. Without the permanent stage, the cost of renting a stage and sound system for each of the 10 consecutive weekends of the Levitt AMP series of musical performances would have cost about $30,000.
For more information on the Levitt performances: Levitt Foundation free concert series