SAUK RAPIDS -- After a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, the 'Riverside Nights' concert series kicked off at the new 1851 Square Amphitheater in Sauk Rapids on Thursday night.  1851 is the year the Lynden Terrace, Sauk Rapids' first home, was built.

Photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

The amphitheater is part of the larger $9.1 million park renovation project in Southside and Lions Park which has been named The Clearing.  The name represents the area early settlers created for themselves and the area for the complex itself today.

The first music act ever to take the stage was Paul Diethelm.  The headliner for the first night was the band Strange Daze.

Photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

You'll be able to catch the free music series every Thursday night through September 2nd, with music running from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

Photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

There was a couple of food trucks there on Thursday night selling food and beer.  There could be a few more added as the concert series goes on.  You are also able to bring in a cooler of your own food and/or beverages if you want to.

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Photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice
Photo by WJON.com's JIm Maurice

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