Town to unveil amphitheater, other features at Philip S. Miller Park, prepare for inaugural summer concert and event series
Residents are invited to explore the newest amenities at Castle Rock’s expansive Philip S. Miller Park when the town holds a day-long celebration with free children’s activities and live music on Saturday. New features include an open-air amphitheater, plaza with splash pad and Millhouse events center.
The park was already a destination for physical activities thanks to features like the Miller Activity Complex and zip line course. Town officials hope the amphitheater and other features will provide more places for residents to gather and spend time at the 300-acre common.
In a county that is already home to popular performing arts venues like Parker’s PACE Center and the Lone Tree Arts Center, the new additions also provide a location for Castle Rock to host cultural events and a venue that is part of the town’s ambitious, new ” Signature Events Series.”
“In our community surveys, our residents have asked for this, so we’re delivering directly on that request,” Castle Rock special events manager Casey Willis said of the events series.
The Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park will get into the act soon. Following Saturday’s free welcome party, Shooter Jennings, son of the late country superstar Waylon Jennings, will bring his musical stylings to the amphitheater as the first of the town’s five-date “Celebration Concert Series.” Tickets start at $35 for the Jennings show
“The goal is to get people out and get them to really appreciate all the elements of the park,” Willis said. “We have all these outdoor elements, but also cultural elements.”
Willis was hired in June to spearhead the launch of the new event series. She said the town has invested $200,000 in the 20-event program this year. She said the test run was the “Season of Star” lineup of weekend holiday celebrations in December, which was popular and will return.
“What we learned with that is, you build it, they will come,” she said. “People are thirsty for events in Castle Rock.”
The town is working closely with the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Merchants Associationto ensure there are no overlapping events and that all the groups are promoting one another’s efforts.
“We’re trying to say, ‘Hey, Castle Rock is a great place to be,’ and we’re working to expand our offerings for the community,” said Pam Ridler, president and CEO of the Castle Rock Chamber. “We’re expanding on many of the types of community events that our residents love.”
She praised the town’s investment in Philip S. Miller Park, saying of the amphitheater, “This is an outdoor facility that we definitely feel will be able to provide a lot for the performing arts and for outdoor events in our community. It’s an amazing facility with phenomenal views.”
Jeff Brauer, Castle Rock’s director of parks and recreation, said that the park welcomed 1.2 million visitors in 2015, a figure that could increase this year. The amphitheater, Millhouse, plaza and associated features — considered Phase 2 of the less than two-year-old park’s improvement plan — cost about $8 million to construct, he said. And the town is not done: A fee-based 50-foot-tall ropes obstacle course known as the “Epic Sky Trek” is set to open later this month.
“We heard that people were tired of driving up or down (Interstate 25) to go to events, whether they be cultural or recreational. That’s what this is about,” Brauer said. “What we’re looking to provide was an opportunity to celebrate your life events here at Philip S. Miller Park. I think we’ve set the bar and we’ve set it pretty high.”
Joe Rubino: 303-954-2953, email@example.com or @RubinoJC
Where: Philip S. Miller Park, 1375 W. Plum Creek Parkway, Castle Rock
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday