Downtown Appleton has a new jewel and through one day of live music, it garnered some rave reviews.
The Miron Construction Amphitheater at Jones Park made its debut on Friday as part of Mile of Music with a full slate of performances. The amphitheater was part of a $4.2 million renovation of the downtown park which sits in the ravine aside the Fox Cities Exhibition Center.
The park re-opened to the public just prior to the festival.
“I think it’s gorgeous,” said Carolyn Frederick of Appleton. “It looks so nice — and it sounds good.”
Appleton’s Mike Hardtke soaked it all in while working a Friday evening volunteer shift. He had some anxiety on what they’d do to the park and the ravine that houses it.
Count him convinced. The stage is beautiful and the integrity of the park remains intact.
“I think it’s the perfect use of a natural amphitheater,” Hardtke said. “The acoustics … this is just made for music.”
The 2,600-square-foot amphitheater includes two backstage rooms totaling 500 square feet. Miron Construction donated the facility in celebration of its 100th anniversary. The space also includes a new 3,600-square-foot in pavilion, which will also be put to good use when ice rinks return in the winter months.
Those who didn’t take in a show there Friday should pencil a visit into their Saturday plans.
Jones Park will host another full line up on the day three of Mile of Music with music running from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Highlights include a 5:10 p.m. performance from Cory Chisel.
Frederick looks forward to seeing how the amphitheater will be used beyond the festival. It would be a beautiful venue for community theater, she said.
She was taken by the surroundings with trees rising from the slopes on each side of the stage. She chuckled when glancing up to up to her left.
“I’d hate to be in those condos if you don’t like music,” she said.
But then again …
“It would make a nice Airbnb during Mile of Music,” she said.