Looking for a place to chill outdoors? North Augusta’s got you covered.

The city’s brand new amphitheater is officially open after the city held a ribbon cutting Friday afternoon.

The 600-seat amphitheater is located in Riverside Village and is right on the Savannah River.

“While we wait for COVID-19 to calm down again so that we can do festivals and concerts, what you’re going to get right now is … people sitting in the shade looking at the calmness of the river, taking a lunch break here, people having picnics here,” said Rick Meyer, director of North Augusta Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

He said there are so many things people will be able to use the amphitheater for, including prom and wedding photos.

North Augusta City Council member Eric Presnell said he’s looking forward for when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and events can be planned.

“Hopefully this fall we’ll be able to do some like, movies at night, possibly some college football games being livestreamed, I’m excited,” Presnell said.

He pointed out that the city also has grant money to pay for a boat dock at the park.

The amphitheater is built around a sycamore tree.

“I can go all the way back to 2012 when we first started thinking about doing a park on the riverfront and how the vision changed,” Meyer said.

Initially the park was planned to be a green space, possibly with a playground. Then came SRP Park, the baseball stadium where the Augusta GreenJackets play.

Rick said he got on the Greeneway, which runs alongside the amphitheater, with lead planner Charlie Hall of Alfred Benesch & Company.

Hall could envision the amphitheater, Meyer said.

“I stood down there and I kept looking up here and I’m going ‘There’s not enough slope, can’t be high enough to build an amphitheater,’ and now you see the finished product and what you see is what all you can do with it,” Meyer said.

Meyer said the city is going to consider allowing people to use the amphitheater for outdoor weddings.

“We weren’t going to do that, but since we’re kind of blocked out of concerts, it’s like 'why not?'”

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Lindsey is the North Augusta reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2017, and grew up in Hodges, SC.