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Community celebrates new amphitheater in Victoria (Video)

By BY JENNIFER PREYSS - JLPREYSS@VICAD.COM
March 3, 2013 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 3, 2013 at 9:04 p.m.

Ciara Keith, 23, known by her stage name, "Ciara Blossom," performs during the grand opening of the amphitheater at the Ethel Lee Tracy Park in Victoria. Keith is affiliated with Hypno-Cirque, a collective of circus performers based out of Austin.

ETHEL LEE TRACY PARK ACTIVITIES

Playgrounds

Amphitheater

Restrooms and electricity

Pavilion

Fishing lake

Nine-hole disc golf

Tennis courts

Six basketball goals

Two sand volleyball courts

Horseshoe pits

Seven picnic shelters

LOCATION: 701 E. Larkspur St.

MORE INFO: victoriatx.org

"Look at Mommy," Kristen Saldivar shouted at 2-year-old Jocelyn, standing atop an oversized, pink circus ball.

Saldivar held out her matching pink iPhone and captured a photo of Jocelyn stepping gently on the ball.

Jocelyn stared out at the Ethel Lee Tracy Park crowd then slid down the ball.

Meanwhile, Jocelyn's sister, McKinze, 5, used all her might to climb to the peak of the sphere.

"It was amazing," McKinze said, after sliding down the ball. "I could see everybody."

McKinze and Jocelyn wore matching flower-shaped balloons around their arms, crafted by one of the park's guest circus clowns.

"Did you see my flower?" McKinze asked, pointing out that hers is distinctly purple.

And McKinze wasn't the only excited park guest Sunday.

Families and outdoors lovers gathered on the park's lawn all afternoon to hear live music and watch professional Hypno-Cirque actors juggle and walk on costumed stilts.

The celebrations honored the grand opening of the park's new amphitheater, which officially opened to the public after about a year of construction.

"I think what this park will do is meet the needs of our community," said Andrea Blomberg, Victoria Parks and Recreation assistant director. "Our community is growing. And people need a place to have their events."

Blomberg said the new amphitheater will be open to the community to rent for special occasions as well as for city-sponsored events.

"I do think people will use it for fundraising and live entertainment. It's not going to be fitting for really big shows. But I want to show people that the amphitheater is more than just music - it's a stage," Blomberg said.

The amphitheater, built for about $250,000, accommodates about 800 lawn seats, and there's room for 250 cars in the park's parking lot.

"We used to come to this park for the playground area, but this new addition is great for the whole family," said McKinze's father, Jeremy Saldivar.

Kristen Saldivar agreed.

"I think the new amphitheater will bring a lot of families together and allow them to have fun outdoors," she said. "I love when Victoria does things like this because it shows there are things to do in the city that are inexpensive and fun."

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