Carmel Farmers Market pleads for the city to stop demolition of Rotary Amphitheater

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CARMEL, Ind. — Demolition starts Tuesday on Carmel’s Rotary Amphitheater at Carter Green. The move makes way for a new wooden pavilion, however, at least one of the organizations that uses the space is not happy about the change.

“Never asked for anything to replace this. This works ideally for us,” said Ron Carter, president of the Carmel Farmers Market. “We weren’t asked. Rotary wasn’t asked. This is something that just popped up as far as we knew.”

A press release came out late Friday afternoon detailing the plans for a grand, wooden pavilion which is set to be constructed in time for Christkindlmarkt. The city believes it will expand seating at the venue. The wooden pavilion is seasonal, and will only be up from November through March. The above ground level stage will remain in place all year.

“We have suggested to the mayor, ‘Please save this.’ If you have to have a performance platform, bridge it over the amphitheater,” suggested Carter. “I worked with the mayor for 25 years. 24 years, I was on the City Council. It was doubly shocking to me that I didn’t get any notice on this.”

In addition to being an aforementioned former Carmel City Council member, Carter is also a former Carmel Rotary member. In fact, the Carter Green itself is named after him.

“We are afraid the demolition is going to start in the morning,” said Carter, hoping for a compromise in the final hours.

Carter says the amphitheater provides a music space for the market without bothering the vendors behind it. In the city’s press release, it acknowledges some vendors will have to move locations due to the structure. So far this year, more than 92,000 people have visited the Carmel Farmers Market.

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