SHENANDOAH JUNCTION — Get ready for The Amp.
That’s the nickname already being given to the recently completed amphitheater stage at Sam Michaels Park, which will play host to a new family festival May 4.
The Soaring into Summer festival will kick off at 1 p.m. with a performance by the Jefferson High School Band and will conclude with a country music concert at 6 p.m. The festival will also feature hot air balloon lifts and a remote control airplane exhibition — along with a 5K foot race and an arts and crafts show, a moon bounce and rock wall climbing for young people.
Part of a seven-phase improvement project costing approximately $2.5 million, county park officials said a fully constructed amphitheater will feature a permanent roof and seating, ticket and concession stands, public restrooms, storage space and a backstage gathering place for performers.
A dedication for the new amphitheater will be part of the day’s activities, according to Becki Zaglifa, a public relations official for Jefferson County Parks and Recreation.
The finished amphitheater will offer about 500 permanent seats, park officials said. A grassy slope that surrounds the amphitheater site will provide about 700 more spots for informal seating and picnicking during events.
Later this summer, The Amp will also be the scene of entertainment at the county’s annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration as well as a Fall Fun Fest in October. County residents should also keep an eye out for future outdoor events at the amphitheater, such as family movie nights and Thursday night concerts, county park officials said.
State hotel-motel tax revenue earmarked for parks programs will fund the amphitheater’s multi-phase construction extending over eight or more years. How long a fully completed amphitheater complex will take to build will depend on the pace of funding Jefferson County receives from grant sources and from community fundraising campaigns, park officials said.
For now, the Soaring into Summer event will offer only lawn seating. So festival-goers might consider bringing along lawn chairs or picnic blankets, park officials said.
Festival tickets for adults are $15 each, ahead of time, or $20 at the gate. Tickets for youth ages 12-17 cost $5. Children under 12 will be admitted free. For more details or to order tickets ahead, visit the web page soaringintosummer.eventbrite.com.