Laying out by the water, listening to cool tunes and maybe indulging in some evening music under the stars— that’s Centennial Terrace. Owned by the City of Sylvania, the concert venue and quarry plays host to popular summer events such as the Pizzapalooza, an annual Disco Party, and a slew of varied musical acts. It’s the destination for fun in Sylvania when school is out while the sun is shining, or after it sets.
James Chinni, event manager at Centennial Terrace, comes from a background as tour manager for rock bands over the last 20 years. Working with the likes of Stone Sour, Anthrax, Poison (where he was also Bret Michaels’ manager), and as a tour carpenter for The Rolling Stones, he’s the perfect person to ensure that the summer music scene in Toledo stays hot.
“When you come off a tour, it’s hard to get a job doing what you do on the road. It’s a special skill set, managing a venue. Usually the people who have these positions keep them. When this position became available, I took it,” Chinni says of his decision to get involved with Centennial Terrace.
“The new Centennial, with this stage, has been here around seven years. But it’s been around, historically, for a while,” the Toledo native says with a shrug. A venue since 1939, opening as a Dance Under the Stars venue where big band leaders, and their charges, would entertain, the 10,000 sq ft. terrazzo-look, checkerboard dance floor is a holdover from that time. In the recent past, the venue has featured major acts including Rob Zombie, Kenny Loggins, Weird Al, The Doobie Brothers, Sheryl Crow and Alice Cooper.
With capacity for a crowd of 3,000 for concert performances, but able to accommodate up to 4,500 for specialty events (such as the annual 4th of July fireworks party), the look of the venue, which also hosts weddings in its ornate gazebos, is an important facet. “I did a show here with Bret Michaels four years before I started working here. So I’ve played here with bands. And when we got here, you could just see from the stage, it looks nice.” As for the future, Chinni says, “We want to keep newer bands that are upcoming, coming to the venue so we can reach out to the younger crowd, too.”
And a water park too…
Centennial Quarry has no problem attracting the younger crowd. A destination spot for teens and younger children, the water-filled quarry, adjacent to the concert venue, boasts a massive twisting slide and several inflatable trampolines, bouncers and floating platforms. A popular recreation spot since 1934, the quarry also has basketball and volleyball courts as well as barbecue areas and rows of beach chairs for tanning. Lifeguards require water-goers to pass a test to swim in the quarry, with an average depth of 22 feet.
“There are usually six [lifeguards] here on a daily basis,” Brittany Meronk, special events coordinator, assures, so the kids will be well looked after. Open 3-7pm Monday through Friday and Noon-7pm on Saturdays and Sundays, the quarry costs $6 for day use, but you can buy an annual use pass for $90 or a family membership for $165.
Upcoming events at Centennial Terrace include Make America Rock Again, a hard rock concert featuring Scott Stapp, Drowning Pool, Trapt and others, on Thursday, August 24. Centennial Terrace is located at 5773 Centennial Rd., Sylvania. 419-885-7106. centennialterrace.org