Winter Park begins demolition of downtown district’s main stage

Grand opening for new and improved stage expected September 2022

Crews are in the process of dismantling the main stage at Winter Park's downtown Central Park. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Crews began work Tuesday to dismantle the main stage at Winter Park’s downtown Central Park.

The three-day demolition of the decades old structure came after city leaders decided to replace the outdated venue.

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Kyle Dudgeon, assistant division director of economic development, said the project became a priority over the last year.

“(The stage) was originally constructed in the 1980s and the only renovation we’ve done is past 2004 when we actually had the canopy blow off after the hurricanes,” Dudgeon said.

The new Central Park main stage will feature better structural integrity and an improved audio system. City leaders said it’s designed to complement the architecture of the nearby Winter Park train station.

“We want to have that unique value and some of those unique environmental things that Central Park and Winter Park bring to the community (that) really is part of our staple here,” Dudgeon said.

According to the city, more than 75 large events are held in the downtown district each year.

Marie Murphy lives nearby and said the demolition comes with mixed emotions.

“It’s a little sad to see the old stage go, but it’s going to be exciting to see what’s coming,” Murphy said.

City leaders said the new performance pavilion costs more than $700,000 and was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency.

Construction on the project is estimated to take about three months.

A grand opening for the stage is expected in late September.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.