VIENNA – State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) was joined by Vienna Mayor Jon Simmons, Director of Tourism for the City of Vienna Phil Morris, and Brian Ziegler, owner of Clarida & Ziegler Engineering Co. Tuesday to break ground on a highly-anticipated amphitheater project in the Vienna Community Park.
“This has been a project initiative that the Vienna Community Park and local officials have been pursing for several years, and I’m excited to have been able to help secure these grant funds for this amphitheater project,” Fowler said. “The amphitheater project will benefit the 70,000 individuals who visit the area each year, spurring economic development and creating a site location that has numerous uses to a very popular visitor area in Southern Illinois.”
According to a release, Fowler helped obtain two grants for the amphitheater project, totaling $115,000. Grant funding will be used to construct an ADA-accessible amphitheater at the Vienna Community Park. Funding will specifically be directed toward the design, engineering, materials and labor costs associated with the development of the amphitheater.
“The addition of the amphitheater is not only a great asset for the residents of Vienna, but it’s also another opportunity to bring visitors to the community as well,” Simmons said. “We greatly appreciate the support of the State of Illinois and Senator Fowler for making this project a reality.”
Fowler noted no other amphitheaters are located within a 40-mile radius, making the amphitheater a unique facility to the area.
“Not only will this amphitheater provide a facility that has so much potential for the Vienna Community Park, but it will also benefit Tunnel Hill State Park and its numerous visitors as the parks are adjacent to each other,” he said. “Especially given the uptake in tourism and visitors to the area who are seeking safe, outdoor recreation during this pandemic time, this project is an ideal investment in Southern Illinois.”
“This project has been 20 years in the making, and it’s a day that many of us are ecstatic to see come true,” Morris said. “This venue has the potential to be a local and regional draw. We can envision historical reenactments, marriages, graduations and many, many more events taking place here. Senator Fowler has been crucial in bringing the amphitheater to life and we thank him for his efforts.”
The amphitheater project is expected to be completed by January 2021.