(Left to right) Stan Foust, John LeCroy, Terry Sweat, Anne Marshall, Johnny Byrge, Mike Stanfield, Jamison Sliger, Bradley Smiddy and Mark Stanfill on hand for Wednesday’s check presentation ceremony.

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The dream of an amphitheater that has been discussed for several years now took a giant leap toward becoming a reality on Wednesday after the City of La Follette was awarded a $250,000 grant. Related story.

“This is part of our 10 year plan and has been in the works for several years,” said Johnny Byrge, La Follette recreation director.  He said that by having the recreation plan in place really helped (make this grant possible).

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) officials held a check presentation ceremony for the parks and recreation grant for the City of La Follette on Wednesday afternoon at city hall.

Between the former Dunaway Law Office and Liberty Park, on the bank, is where the new amphitheater is planned to be constructed.

Byrge explained that this $250,000 grant is a 50-50 matching grant.  “Proceeds from the annual Santa Trot 5-K, a project of former Councilman Joe Bolinger, along with a lot of “in-kind” money and sweat equity will help make the match,” Byrge noted. 

The grant is a part of $7,584,530 awarded to communities throughout the state from the Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program.

“La Follette has a great park system and has been a good steward of grant dollars,” said Anne Marshall, director, Recreation Resources Division, Bureau of Parks.  Marshall presented the check to Byrge and Mayor Mike Stanfield during the Wednesday afternoon ceremony.

“We’re going to be able to showcase our local talent in this new venue, and we hope to work with Postmark La Follette as well,” said Byrge. It’s all in the early stages he went on to say thinking that late spring or sometime in the summer of 2022 is the tentative time table for the completion of the amphitheater which will be located in the area between Liberty Park and the former Dave Dunaway office on South 5th Street. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/30/2021-6AM)