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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Levitt Gets Okay for Summer Season on Jesup Green

With construction of new Levitt Pavilion to start shortly, the Westport Board of Selectmen today approved use of the town-owned Jesup Green as the venue for this summer’s Levitt season.

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A model of the new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

What is being called “The Levitt Pavilion on Jesup Green” would take advantage of the Green being a “natural amphitheatre,” said Freda Welsh, Levitt executive director.

She said the Levitt would present a full, free season as well as a handful of ticketed events and rentals. In addition, the Levitt would again co-sponsor and host the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival in September.

Welsh and Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy explained that the temporary stage would be erected at the bottom of the Green on the edge of the Taylor Parking Lot facing Westport police headquarters.

A fence will be installed along Jesup Road to prevent audience members from inadvertently crossing the road at any other point than the designated crosswalk, Welsh said.

At all times other than during ticketed events, Jesup Green will remain open to the public, she said.

McCarthy said construction on the new Levitt is scheduled to begin shortly with an 11-month timetable aiming for completion around April 15, 2014, in time for the new summer season.

Police Chief Dale Call, in a memo to the Board of Selectmen, reminded members that emergency vehicles with lights and sirens sounding would be using Jesup Road to access Post Road East. He said it is not possible to “turn them off so as not to disrupt a performance.”

Welsh said with the stage sited away from the Saugatuck River and with a scaled-down sound system on the site, she did not anticipate noise complaints from neighbors. She said it was something that would be monitored closely.

Welsh said the Levitt would make use of its off-site rain locations when potential conflicts arose and planned to use another site for its ticketed gala.

Representatives of the Westport Public Library and the Downtown Merchants Association were on hand and told the board that they had met with Levitt officials and were comfortable with the plans as presented.

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Posted 05/01/13 at 06:35 PM  Permalink



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