Businesses anticipate ‘astounding’ impact from Riverfront Amphitheater opening

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two years in the making, two weeks to go. The long-awaited Riverfront Park and Amphitheater will finally open its doors on July 4.

Details of the grand opening have been released. The event will be family-friendly, including live music from local bands, comedians, activities for kids, food, a beer garden, and more on Sunday, July 4 from 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

City Spokesman Dylan Lee says the music will begin at 2:00 pm and wrap up around 6:00 pm. Afterward, they will encourage people to head to the southern portion of the Riverwalk to watch the fireworks beginning at 9:05 pm.

In the last several years, Lee says the Riverfront has transformed from an industrial space to a place for residents to enjoy.

“The entire northern waterfront is now basically modernized to the type of use that we want the riverfront to be, which is active, pedestrian, live, work, play,” Lee said. “It’s a much bigger riverfront than it used to be and it’s just a greater opportunity for all businesses.”

Businesses flourishing because of the amphitheater, including members of the Cape Fear Craft Beer Alliance like Front Street Brewery. The alliance will help create a beer garden for the grand opening event.

“This is going to be our first time getting together as an alliance to do a public event since covid hit, so being involved with the city in such an exciting endeavor as the grand opening of Riverfront Park, being able to get together and enjoy local craft beer…it’s going to be a fun time for all of us,” Alliance President and Marketing for Front Street Brewery Ellie Craig said.

After fizzling out during a tough year, Craig hopes the amphitheater sparks a better year for the local economy starting on July 4.

“LiveNation is going to do some wonderful things, bring in some wonderful acts and bands through our area,” Craig said. “The economic impact that’s going to have through Greenfield Lake and Riverfront Park is going to be astounding.”

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