Iowa’s largest venue opened their doors this weekend to the public.
The Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater is located in St. Charles, about 30 minutes Southwest of Des Moines.
“We had some property down here and it`s out in the country, it`s out of city limits, so this space was adequate to set up an amphitheater, it`s been a dream of the family to start something like this,” says President Renatta Bolen.
The two-day “Heroes and Saints Music Festival” had a little bit for everyone.
Saturday rock groups took the stage and Sunday it was all country, with artists Sawyer Brown, Emerson Drive, Diamond Rio, LoCash Cowboys, and more all performing.
“I have just been excited, waiting the anticipation has been building, and these are people we know from somewhere way away from St. Charles and here we are seeing them in our own back-yard, awesome, awesome, awesome,” says Peggy Garner of Winterset.
Phase one of the amphitheater is complete, but a lot still needs to be done.
The weather slowed down construction, but plans are in the works to build 5,000 permanent seats up front and a 120 foot custom stage.
“It`s so much fun, this is just a great venue, they have everything spelled out for you, it`s nice, it`s good,” says Janet Kean from Norwalk.
The venue can hold 18,000 people, making it the largest amphitheater in Iowa and providing a big boom for the town of only 650 people.
“I know a lot of people in St. Charles is excited for the potential growth of what it can do to the town,” says Bolen.
Part of the proceeds from the two-day event will go to Operation First Response, which helps wounded veterans and their families.
About 300-400 people came out for today’s show, and organizers say they will continue to hold events and concerts as construction continues.
The amphitheater is scheduled to be complete by next summer.