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Spectators gather on July 3, 2019 to watch a fireworks show at the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater.

NEW ALBANY — A week after denying a concert request, the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety on Tuesday OK’d one of the first in-person events to be held at the Riverfront Amphitheater since the pandemic began.

The board approved the Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana’s request to use the space for a production of Hamlet through the Shakespeare in the Park series. The event is slated for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on May 7.

The Jeffersonville Board of Public Works and Safety approved a similar request last week for Shakespeare in the Park to be held April 24 at Big 4 Park Pavilion.

New Albany’s board turned down a request on March 2 for a concert to be held at the amphitheater, as officials cited pandemic concerns. Michael Hall, director of operations for the city, said staff was in communication with the Floyd County Health Department about procedures and guidelines for using the amphitheater and Bicentennial Park.

On Tuesday, Hall said the city had held additional meetings with the health department.

“The board of works is now approving concerts, shows and other large events on public land on a case-by-case basis, paying special attention to safety plans, trash and waste removal plans, security details and specifically COVID-19 safety plans,” Hall said.

“We are also coordinating with the health department to ensure that each approved event has a separate Health Department Special Permits event as well, if applicable due to crowd size.”

Hall said last week the city is hopeful to host its summer concert series and July 3 celebration this year.

Numbers released by the state showed that Floyd County recorded the lowest number of new cases on Monday and Tuesday since last July. The seven-day positivity rate for tests was 4.4% as of Tuesday.

City officials said during Tuesday’s virtual board meeting that the Arts Alliance had submitted the necessary plans for the event, and organizers will place signage announcing COVID-19 guidelines for the show.

“They said they will update their signage as needed the closer they get to the date if any of the CDC guidelines change,” said Krystina Jarboe, a legal assistant with the city who helps manage requests for venues.

The board also OK’d a virtual event slated for May 15 through May 22.

The New Albany Parks Department is planning the Le Tour De Greenway, which will allow people to tour the pathway between New Albany and Clark County. The approval allows the department to install three informational signs along the greenway during that week.

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