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Old Armory Pavilion: From Near Destruction to Community Event Space

pavilion-2The Old Armory Pavilion is rich with history and provides Oxford and Lafayette County with a space unlike any other that can be found in the community.

The location, which once housed the National Guard Armory, narrowly avoided destruction in the early months of 2015. During demolition it was discovered that, with a little help, the structure could function as a pavilion, which would allow the community to have a unique event space.

In November 2015, the renovations for the Pavilion were complete and Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC) took control of it. YAC uses this space to host outdoor events, markets and even guest speakers.

The Pavilion is a new type of space for Oxford because it is an outdoor space that can function similar to an indoor space. Outdoor spaces in Oxford have rules and guidelines that prohibit the use of speakers, the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, and most cannot be reserved for a private event. Yet all of these are allowed at the Pavilion.

Felder Rushing, a well known gardener and landscape artist, at the Pavilion Thursday, Oct. 6.
Felder Rushing, a well known gardener and landscape artist, at the Pavilion Thursday, Oct. 6.

“It’s zoned so we can have a sound system and adult beverages,” said Wayne Andrews, YAC Executive Director. “It’s a great space that’s like a park, but you can reserve it, have amplified music, and it’s covered.”

The City of Oxford owns the Pavilion but leases it out to YAC to use to promote and foster partnerships between community organizations.

The Pavilion is located in a central location which is on an OUT bus route, close to the public library.

“We want to grow the Pavilion like we did the Powerhouse,” Andrews said. “Eight years ago, it was a blank space. We didn’t have theater seats, we didn’t have curtains, we didn’t have projectors or gallery walls. Now we’re booked seven days a week at the Powerhouse. The Pavilion will be the same. And we appreciate the support of the Mayor and the Alderman for giving us a year to learn lessons about applying them.”

The Pavilion can be reserved by anyone and, depending on the time, date and function of the event, the price can range form $150 to $1,250. The Pavilion Contract can be accessed here.

Amy Goodin is a writer for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at argoodin12@gmail.com.

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