by Jim Smilie

The City of Alexandria hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in July for the Alexandria Riverfront Amphitheater Bandshell, a $1.3 million joint project to improve downtown between the Red River Waterway Commission and the City of Alexandria.

“Our vision is to create a beautiful, accessible greenspace where people can come to fish, go boating, cookout, or have a picnic with friends and family members, come to study for class, or just lay back and get a few minutes of well-deserved relaxation,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey Hall. “We also want a place where the entire community can gather to enjoy a great concert, enjoy a speaker, or participate in a variety of entertainment activities.”

Creation of the bandshell is the first phase of a project that will also include improved access ways and entrances to the amphitheater to be added in Phase 2. Construction cost for the bandshell portion of the project is $1,377,000, with construction being done by Tudor Construction.

Hall cited the success of previous downtown events, including Alexandria WinterFete, Rock the Red, and the community fireworks event on July 4 as proof residents want to see the riverfront developed. “As we saw this weekend as we celebrated our nation’s independence, Alexandria residents are still drawn to the river. It was a joy to see so many of our residents, smiling and enjoying the fireworks over the Red River Sunday evening,” Hall said.

“I believe that night was just a small taste of what is to come. And that is why we have included development of the riverfront as a critical part of our Grow With Alexandria program and our downtown revitalization efforts. Creating this bandshell will be the next step in creating a world-class entertainment facility for our residents. Once the bandshell is completed, we will move forward with plans to make it easier to access the site with improved entranceways and access ramps.”

Construction of the bandshell is expected to take 6-8 months.


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