The Levitt Pavilion Dayton will celebrate its grand opening by hosting a concert-filled weekend that kicks off tonight.
Construction of the new venue started in January on the former Dave Hall Plaza at South Main and East Fifth streets. A little more than 14 months after acquiring its construction permits, fans can now enjoy the sounds of Gina Chavez and other artists with more than 30 free concerts this year.
The $5 million dollar stage and amphitheater, plus the lawn seating area can draw as many as 5,000 people.
The large lawn area has a gentle slope for seating with blankets, lawn chairs or directly on the grass. A difference from other concert venues is that you can bring your own food and drink, but glass containers are not allowed.
The city of Dayton hopes that Levitt will continue the momentum of building a strong downtown population base and bringing people from outside the city to Dayton.
City leaders want to convert the extra momentum into helping redevelopment in a nine block area of south downtown, capitalizing on the Levitt and the Dayton Metro Library.
Other artists set to perform for the opening weekend include Paul Brown with special guest Chris Standring on Aug. 10, Paul Thorn and the Blind Boys of Alabama on Aug. 11 and Trout Fishing in America on the Aug. 12.
The first performance begins at 7 p.m.
Organizers plan to have at least 50 free concerts next year and each year that follows.