The Town of Lexington hosted a Ribbon Cutting for the Project Icehouse Amphitheater this morning Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 107 W. Main St.
The 900-seat venue will host various community events including concerts, creating the newest destination for residents and tourists alike to enjoy a night out on the town.
Before the ribbon cutting, Town leaders and representatives underscored the community significance of the amphitheater in opening remarks. Town Mayor Steve MacDougal discussed the amphitheater’s role in the Town of Lexington Vision Plan and the proposed future opportunity it will bring:
“Sept 1st, 2015 we broke ground here at the former site of the Havird Oil Company and Ice Plant. We give many thanks to the Havird family, who like us saw a vision for this property and made it available to the Town and we are grateful.
In 2012 after months of input from the community, council adopted a Vision Plan focusing on the future and providing a road map and guiding principles for the Town of Lexington. A blueprint for a great small town. The Icehouse Amphitheater is our newest project and will allow for connectivity in the downtown area from this facility to Palmetto Collegiate, which is located right behind us, Lexington Municipal Complex, Virginia Hylton park, and Lexington Square Park.
This 900-seat venue will host various community events including concerts, plays and even our own Lexington Community Band creating the newest destination for residents and tourists alike to enjoy a night out on the town. We hope that all of you will join us this month for our opening events.”
Other Town representatives, such as Lexington County School District One Board Chair Debbie Knight, spoke to the cultural impact of the amphitheater. She said, “Every educator knows that students involved in the fine arts programs tend to do better academically and to stay in school”. Knight also noted, “learning in the arts uniquely equips students with skills of creativity, divergent thinking, problem solving and teamwork. Skills that they need for college and careers.” She believes the amphitheater will provide an excellent venue to showcase the creativity and talent of District 1 students.
Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce CEO Otis Rawl concluded the opening remarks with a focus on the Vision Plan and Icehouse Amphitheater’s impact on Lexington economic development. He said:
“I think what we’re doing in Lexington right now.. is the first small step in revitalization of downtown Lexington and what it will mean to our business community. I can see a future where Lexington is just like Greenville, or just like Charleston, or just like Spartanburg..where if you remember the last scene of Field of Dreams, ‘build it and they will come’, you see cars lined up coming to see that field and watch those ballplayers play on that field. Starting this weekend I think that’s what you’re going to begin to see coming into Lexington is a line of cars from surrounding areas coming to see the activities going on in Lexington, in and around the new Icehouse Amphitheater. What’s more important than that is the economic impact that’s going to have on the businesses in this particular area. It’s awful nice to have our residents around the Lake and in the surrounding areas come in and spend dollars in our community. But from a business perspective, it’s nice to have a venue that can become a cultural center where people will come into our town, enjoy our town, enjoy our festivities, and particularly enjoy the retail shopping and the restaurants that are going to be available in and around the amphitheater. Were looking forward to what the revitalization of Main street could be.”
Opening events for the Icehouse Amphitheater include the Lexington Craft Beerfest on Saturday, October 15 from 6pm-10pm featuring 20 Ride, a Zac Brown Tribute Band and over 30 craft beer vendors for sampling. Tickets can be purchased from the Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitor Center’s website (www.lexingtonsc.org).
The Town’s first FREE concert, Downtown Jams, will be on Thursday, October 27 from 6pm-9pm. The event is a family-friendly atmosphere featuring Live Music from The Root Doctors along with free face painting, balloon animals and a photo booth for souvenir pictures!
Future development for Project Icehouse includes boutique retail and eateries, boosting the revitalization of downtown Lexington.
This is the newest project under the Vision Plan, which Council passed in May 2012, and will allow for connectivity in the downtown area through Lexington Square Park, Virginia Hylton Park, Lexington Municipal Complex, Palmetto Collegiate Institute and Project Icehouse.
UPDATED– view photos and video from the Lexington Craft Beerfest here