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North Augusta dedicates Sharon Jones Amphitheater

One of North Augusta’s most talented residents is now memorialized in a music venue with views of the Savannah River.

The late Sharon Jones, a legendary soul singer, spent her early years in North Augusta and returned often to the city. On Friday night, the city of North Augusta dedicated the Sharon Jones Amphitheater in her memory.

Located in Riverside Village, the amphitheater is a city park that was completed and open last year. Since opening, the venue has already seen plenty of concerts and other events.

North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit and Willia Stringer, Jones’s sister, spoke during the dedication.

Stringer and Pettit each mentioned that Jones once said in a TV interview she’d love to have her name on a small plaque by a tree in North Augusta, to let people know she was there. Now the amphitheater, with a sprawling sycamore tree in the center, is the namesake of the singer.

Stringer emotionally said she is overwhelmed and grateful for the honor to her sister.

Pettit gave credit for the naming to resident Don Rhodes, who suggested the amphitheater be named for Jones.

Pettit pointed out there are now two amphitheaters on each side of the river. In North Augusta is the Sharon Jones Amphitheater and in Augusta, the amphitheater named for opera singer Jessye Norman.

“After Council approved the resolution for the naming, I was chatting with Hardie Davis, the mayor of Augusta, one day and I said, ‘Hardie, Augusta may have opera, but North Augusta has soul,’” Pettit recounted.

Two plaques recognizing Jones will be placed at the amphitheater. Friday’s dedication included performances by Village Sticks, Chris Ndeti and headliner Ed Turner and Number 9 band.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges. 

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