Sweetland Amphitheater Open House
Sweetland Amphitheater Open House
Small hometowns like ours always have wonderful traditions honoring the past and places that are reminiscent of times long ago, consistently preserving our history. From parks to playgrounds, we all grew up with that one place where our friends meet, where we learn about life, and where our childhood memories are made. For many in La-Grange, that spot was Boyd Park.
Boyd Park was the town’s local baseball field. Many children ran the bases on the baseball field and countless little league games were held on its ground. Even before the baseball field came along, the local pool ushered in people from the community in droves, contributing to the parks growing success.
Summers were filled with swimming lessons and playful splashes under the hot July heat. However, after many years, the park had fell into a state of disarray, thus brining forth a change that will provide the City of LaGrange with a new venue to create more memories and laughter.
The Sweetland Amphitheater is one of the largest and most unique undertakings in this historic city in quite sometime. Designed by the Smith Design Group, this new open theater will seat over 2,000 people, including the table and lawn seating, and Sweetland Amphitheater Open House
will be a venue for local and non-local artists to come and apply their crafts in our great city.
With over 40,000 square feet of green space, roughly the size of the downtown Square, this will provide the city with a meeting space for a plethora of events such as fairs, fundraisers, and fabulous annual traditions.
In honor of preserving the history of Boyd Park, the original pavilion still stands, albeit with some new additions of concessions and restroom upgrades. The theater also has new decorative lighting, as well as new power and water connections to provide the audience with the upmost luxury and comfort.
Even the name of Sweetland is steeped in tradition. More than 30 years ago, Jim and Annette Boyd started the “Sweet Land of Liberty” parade, a tradition that still lives on in our town every Fourth of July. The park was the beginning of the parade each and every year. The park itself, dating all the way back to 1935, has hosted things like parades, baseball games, and several local events. The name Sweetland not only honors our Fourth of July traditions but is also a testament to American freedoms and patriotism in all small towns all across this great country.
The Sweetland Theater’s open house was a rousing success. On the afternoon of Sunday, November 22, people poured in from all over the city to witness this new venue. The sight itself is one that you have to see to experience, as pictures do not do it justice. The venue is large, with rows of chairs spaced far enough apart to bring your own cooler, which will be allowed. The stage itself was magnificent, with sound that carried much farther than expected and to top it off, there is even a grassy hill for loved ones to bring blankets and sprawl out, free to enjoy the night’s festivities.
Out of the impressive size of the theater, the manpower that was put in to construct it, and the success of the impending concerts next year, the best thing that this theater is already accomplishing is that it is bringing the community closer together.
At the open house this past Sunday, families came into the park together, taking in the sights and sounds. People brought their dogs and children ran playing catch on the grassy hill. There was laughter, pleasantries exchanged, and people meeting and bonding for the first time. Around 525 citizens stopped by and enjoyed the open house. Nearly six months from its official opening, this theater is already helping stimulate the community.
Becca Eiland, the director of the new theater, spoke with us of how this is exactly what this area of the town need, a facelift to a great place that had lost its flair. She spoke of how, when this land was donated to the Callaway Foundation, it was done so on the condition that it is always to be used for public purposes. Now that field and the pool had become dilapidated, this new vision sprung forth, not only revitalized Boyd Park, but also helping to reinvigorate the surrounding community.
The Sweetland Amphitheater is scheduled to have a preopening show in April. Then, the summer of 2016 will kick off with six major summer shows. The theater is working with a management company out of Atlanta which will give Sweetland access to some major national bands and acts. While none of the first attractions are known at this time, the theater is sure to impress with some of the biggest names in music when they kick off their very first summer tour.
So this coming summer, when the kids are out of school and the weather finally turns warm again, take your family out to the Sweetland Amphitheater here in quiet, sleepy LaGrange. Support you local community and no matter what, make sure you enjoy the good times. For more information on the Sweetland Amphitheater, please call 706-298-5434.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer