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Marion Amphitheater To Help City's Growth

MARION, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Marion residents now have a true outdoor performance space.   

On Saturday, city leaders dedicated their Amphitheater after almost ten months of construction.

The project was part of a 2008 initiative where residents identified eight projects to improve the community's quality of life.

Now at least one of them is a reality.

It's hard to not take notice of giant oak leaves, especially when they are the canopy for a 50 foot wide stage.

"Aesthetically, I think this one is really beautiful. They did a nice job with making it look like leaves and fits in with the rest of the landscaping out here," said Emily Wadsley.

Emily lives on the edge of Cedar Rapids and Marion and she sometimes visits Lowe Park with her daughter.

She says the addition of the amphitheater points to the City of Marion's growth.

"I think it's great to have another opportunity of things to do, family oriented and I'm looking forward to coming to events here with my family," she said.

That's the idea city leaders had in mind when they approved construction of the outdoor performance space: accommodating growth.

"Well one of the struggles that we have is that because we've gotten bigger, we've really outgrown the places that we can have people come and gather," said Lon Pluckhahn, Marion City Manager.

City manager Lon Pluckhahn says some concert series saw a limited audience because there simply wasn't enough space for everyone who wanted to attend.

He says this will change all that.

"You've just got a fixed structure there, it has seating for a lot of people, it has good access and good parking, it's really just another place that we can go to hold events," he said and Emily is all for it.

Oh definitely. I love the fact that they are expanding this."

Construction isn't done at Lowe Park. The city is also working on a sculpture trail that will wrap through the area and lead straight to the amphitheater.
 
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