If plans stay aligned, the town of Newburgh will soon have a new amphitheater on the riverfront by the end of this summer.
After several years of fundraising efforts, with over 170 donations, the Newburgh Arts Commission was finally able to break ground on the $396,131 project on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Due to rain, the commission ceremoniously broke ground at the Old Lock and Dam building as a backup venue for the special night.
It was an especially proud moment for Newburgh Town Council and Newburgh Arts Commission members Stacie Krieger and Carol Schaefer, who have been organizers of the Allen Family Amphitheater since it’s inception.
“We could not have done all of this without all of you and many more,” Krieger said. “It is the community who is building this amphitheater. It is not the town of Newburgh, it is not the town council — it truly is the community.”
Krieger was also proud the project was paid for without any tax dollars.
“We raised the money, everybody pitched in and went above and beyond,” she said. “And it’s just amazing what we can do when we put our heads together and our pocketbooks.”
Schaefer hopes the project will incite more people to move to and even just visit Newburgh.
“We have the riverfront, the museum, the farmer’s market, festivals, activities, parks, and of course, all of our unique restaurants and cool shops,” she said. “So, lots of reasons to come and visit Newburgh.”
Although enough money was raised for the construction of the amphitheater itself to be completed, the Newburgh Arts Commission is still looking to raise at least another $100,000 to have bathrooms installed nearby.
“So, somebody cough it up,” said Newburgh Arts Commission member Wanda Kavanaugh. “We’d be happy to put your name on a plaque on the potty door.”
While the amphitheater is a welcome addition to Newburgh, which Schaefer said has always been a hub for the arts.
“It is not a surprise that [we] are carrying on this tradition,” she said. “It truly is a gift from our community to the riverfront.”