Port of Kalama

Port of Kalama

Port of Kalama

KALAMA – By this time next year, the Port of Kalama hopes to have completed a new riverfront amphitheater to host outdoor concerts and events.

Port Executive Director Mark Wilson Thursday signed a $24,900 contract with AKS Engineering to design and engineer the amphitheater. The contract is within Wilson’s signing authority and did not need formal approval by the port’s board of commissioners. Yet the commissioners seemed to favor the idea at Wednesday’s port meeting.

It’s too early to say exactly what the amphitheater will look like, but it likely will include tiered grassy seating for several hundred people and a stage, said Liz Newman, marketing and communication manager for Port of Kalama.

McMenamins already expressed interest in using the venue for events tied to its new hotel and restaurant at the port. However, the venue will be open for general community use.

The amphitheater will be built by summer 2018 in a grassy area south of the port administration building near the totem poles and playground. In the past, the port has hosted events such as the Hawaiian festival and a city blues festival in the same spot, Newman said.

“We’ve had other events out there in the past, but we’re always having to bring in temporary stages or set up power for them,” Newman said. “Hopefully, we can do something that simplifies that and encourages people to come and do events here. That would be great.”

The idea for an amphitheater first came about a decade ago and was incorporated in the port’s strategic plan about four or five years ago, Newman said.

There isn’t an estimate yet for how much construction will cost.

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