Kettering’s Fraze reopening plans call for $3.8M in spending

The Fraze Pavilion in Kettering is targeting a July 1 opening and is recruiting to fill seasonal jobs. FILE
The Fraze Pavilion in Kettering is targeting a July 1 opening and is recruiting to fill seasonal jobs. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

KETTERING — Measures that call for about $3.8 million in spending to open the Fraze Pavilion this year are being considering tonight in Kettering.

The city council is set to vote on several resolutions to reopen the city-owned 4,300-seat outdoor entertainment venue, including one item that involves $2.9 million for 2021 season entertainment contracts, records show.

Plans for the Fraze to open are in “full swing,” Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said in an email Monday.

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“We anticipate offering events beginning in July, and we hope to make specific announcements in May,” he added. “The health and safety of our customers, employees and entertainers will be our main priority. As eager as we are to reopen, we will do so with caution and respect for current guidelines. We are excited to welcome back our customers.”

Kettering officials have said they are encouraged by a growing coronavirus vaccine availability and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s easing COVID-19 restrictions for outdoor venues.

The city is recruiting for seasonal jobs and seven Fraze-related resolutions are set to be addressed by Kettering council tonight. They cover a variety of issues, ranging from paying for music licensing fees, advertising, and rental of lighting, music and sound equipment, according to city records.

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The 2020 Fraze season was canceled, as were other popular Kettering summer activities due to the coronavirus.

The $2.9 million measure would allow Schwieterman to “negotiate and enter into contracts for entertainment” for the planned season.

Another item, estimated to cost $432,000, would give him the authority to contract Light Fantastic Inc. of Dayton for services and equipment “as may be needed on a per show basis with the option to renew…for four additional seasons,” records show.

DeWine earlier this month amended an order to allow outdoor entertainment venues to admit up to 30% of their fixed, seated capacity.

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He also said all COVID-19 health orders will be lifted when Ohio’s cases drop to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks. Just prior to his announcement, the state’s ratio had dipped to 179 per 100,000 population, about 550 fewer than it was in early December.

Kettering has spent months lining up “possible performers while closely monitoring COVID conditions and protocols,” Schwieterman has said.

The July 1 target is not only for the Fraze, but “the entire season activities,” Kettering Parks Recreation and Cultural Arts Director May Beth O’Dell said.

Kettering traditionally has held several free festivals and events at Lincoln Park Civic Commons next door.

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