July 27, 2005
With heat and rain battling construction at the pavilion, some doubted it would ever open--but it did.
"This is a great community event and we've just been looking forward to seeing what emerged from the mud hole that was here last week," said Sherry Kraft, who lives in downtown Charlottesville.
"I really did think it was going to be open," said Mayor David Brown. "I think if you were around the Paramount when it opened, if you'd been there two days ahead you would have said 'no way.'"
And the gates did open even though it's not completely finished.
"We need to get the final roof panel up, that will be done by a week from Friday. We need 7th street to be completed, which will be our large expanded concession area," said Pavilion General Manager Kirby Hutto.
The lawn is also closed, which will hold about 800 people--but should be open Saturday night for Loretta Lynn's concert.
"It's going to be a special night. The weather is not going to rain Saturday night," said Hutto.
Despite the early rainstorm, people came out to socialize, listen to music, and plan to return.
"I'm going to make it out as many times as I can. I mean it's awesome, it's right here, why not?" said Luke Thelen of Charlottesville.
"The Pavilion holds 3,500 people. While it isn't to capacity this evening, plenty of people came into the city to enjoy opening night," said
Karl Denson's Band, "Tiny Universe" was the main attraction. People filled and danced in the open space, which will normally be filled with 2500 folding chairs.