Pavilion was obtained from city for $100

A rusting and all-but-forgotten riverfront pavilion six months ago has a distinctly different look today, thanks to the Hannibal Jaycees.

The pavilion is now located on the civic organization’s lot at 320 South Third St. in the downtown area.

“It’s been completely refurbished and repainted. It looks really good,” wrote Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Knickerbocker in an email to the Courier-Post, pointing out the structure’s roof has been painted to resemble Old Glory. “They still have to build the stage underneath it, but it’s going to be a great venue for entertainment.”

Entertainment was at the heart of the Jaycees’ interest in acquiring the amphitheater structure last summer from the city.

“It will allow us to accommodate a lot of larger national entertainment acts that require 16 feet of headroom. Our current stage does not provide that much headroom so we are looking to expand,” said Adrienne Abright of the Jaycees during the city council’s July 6, 2017, meeting. “These larger acts have the potential to bring in a significantly greater amount of revenue to the city than what the acts we are able to bring in at this time with our limited stage room.”

Initially the Jaycees offered the city $5 for the amphitheater’s roof, which was obscured by decades of vegetation growth in what had been the Riverfront Amphitheater located a short distance south of Bear Creek. Ultimately the city council agreed to sell the amphitheater’s roof for $100.

“If we can’t use this facility for public benefit, this local service club can,” said City Manager Jeff LaGarce last August. “We’ll get a little something from it, and avoid ever having to deal with that facility as a future maintenance problem.”

LaGarce estimated it would cost in the neighborhood of $3,500 to either enter the site and demolish the structure, or to enter the site and repair/improve the canopy.

If the city were to tear down the steel structure for scrap, LaGarce projected it would bring no more than $600.

The first concert was staged at the amphitheater in the summer of 1985 in the midst of Hannibal’s sesquicentennial celebration. Events took place at the amphitheater well into the early 1990s.

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