Grand opening set for downtown stage

May 1—It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here.

A grand opening to officially dedicate the new pavilion/outdoor stage is set for 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, at the intersection of First Street and Choctaw Avenue in downtown McAlester.

It is finished in time to serve as the reviewing stand for the downtown Armed Forces Day Parade, set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4.

Those who are expected to participate in the Thursday ceremony include city officials, downtown merchants who contributed to the project and other community supporters.

Construction of a new outdoor bandstand had originally been planned as part of the downtown Streetscapes project, with downtown merchants making contributions for the facility.

It stalled though, when some of the first requests for proposals came in at what city officials considered a prohibitive high price.

The project gained traction earlier this year when local resident Mike Pruitt took on the project.

Now that it's completed, the new downtown pavilion/outdoor stage is expected to be used for a variety of events, including music performances, parades and other activities. It's already been the site of one impromptu concert by Josh Hass and the Brushpoppers.

With a 70% chance of rain in the forecast for Thursday, a backup date for the grand opening ceremony is set for 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, if necessary.