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Riverfront park gets a dazzling new look

Haddad Riverfront Park, built in the early 1990s with a substantial gift from Heck's principal, the late Fred Haddad, represented a turning point in Charleston.

Over the decades, the state's capital city had turned its face away from one of its biggest assets — the beautiful Kanawha River. Construction of the riverfront park represented an about-face.

Since then, the park has continually been improved. Gifts from Betty Schoenbam, widow of late Shoney's principal Alex Schoenbaum and from the Schoenbaum Family Fund helped pay for the canopies that now shade spectators in the riverside amphitheater.

That paved the way for Live on the Levee concerts on Friday evenings in the summertime. The popularity of that series has grown by leaps and bounds.

This past Friday, another improvement became

visible for the first time — a state-of-the-art lighting system that showcases the park like a jewel. The final concert featured dazzling blue lighting that gave the riverfront park more presence than ever.

But that was just the beginning of the lighting effects than can be achieved in the future.

Charleston has many friends who take an active

interest in making it better for future generations — and who provide an example for them to follow.


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