South DeKalb ready for amphitheater

DeKalb County officials and representatives of the county’s department of recreation, parks and cultural affairs held a groundbreaking ceremony July 1 for an amphitheater at Rainbow Drive Park in Decatur. 

Construction on the amphitheater is expected to be completed next year, according to county officials. The amphitheater will seat up to 1,000 people and will be an open-air venue for DeKalb residents. County officials said they plan to host live musical performances, show movies and host county-sponsored events once the amphitheater is completed. 

DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson said the amphitheater will be an attraction in the south DeKalb area and he hopes the area will become a location for wellness and entertainment. 

“We cannot do it without the folks in this district. We’re here for you,” Johnson said. “I have a vision for this area. I just wanted to align the vision so we could make an intergenerational center possible.”

Johnson said Rainbow Drive Park and the new amphitheater would not be possible without Kelly Jordan, who sold the land to the county, which was formerly known as Wonderland Gardens. 

Stepp Stewart’s Motown Revue performed during the groundbreaking ceremony.

“Kelly Jordan came to me with one of the best deals. [Jordan] said ‘I have 20 acres of land for $20,000.’ We weren’t thinking about an amphitheater but I knew we needed to hold the land because something special was going to happen on Rainbow Drive,” Johnson said. “Wasn’t that a good deal for 20 acres?”

County officials also plan to upgrade the area with walking trails, gardens and open meadows. 

“The new amphitheater will be an ideal location for festivals, art shows, concerts and will give residents the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of south DeKalb,” saidamphitheater at Rainbow Drive Park in Decatur, DeKalb County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs director. “The community will be able to enjoy exercise and have the opportunity to embrace nature.”

The amphitheater will be beside from the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center. The county spent approximately $17 million to construct the center. 

DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson speaks to a crowd of county residents during the ground breaking ceremony for a new amphitheater.

DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson said bringing the amphitheater to south DeKalb is worth celebrating.

“This is about the celebration of vision and quality of life,” Cochran-Johnson said. “We understand what’s important to our communities and we want to ensure that District 3 has the best.”

During the ceremony, Cochran-Johnson said she would commit $100,000 from the District 7 budget toward the efforts of building the new amphitheater. 


2 thoughts on “South DeKalb ready for amphitheater

  • July 5, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Thank you for reporting good news. Looking forward to the new Amphitheater, walking trails.

  • July 7, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    I will agree with Mr.Smith. While I’m grateful that South DeKalb is getting an amphitheater, our area also is in need of a clean up,beautiful landscaping and more upgraded/ new plazas with good retail in them.

    Supposedly, a couple of years ago,landscaping was supposed to take place on Candler Road. Though it was started, it was stopped for some reason but as I went to some portions of Wesley Chapel, S.Indian Creek and Stonecrest, I see it. Maybe private funds did it ,I don’t know,but it’s there.

    It’s great that South Dekalb County is getting an amphitheater but to draw people to your neck of your woods it can’t look like a garbage dump. Just because a community may not be fancy or stereotypically an upper crust one doesn’t mean that it’s citizens want “scraps off the table”. Even people on Candler Road want nice things.


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