City amps up Cravath Lakefront Park

Remodeled event space aims to bring new life near the lake


Hailey Ellis

Attendees enjoy a musical performance at the opening of the Frawley Family Cravath Lakefront Amphitheater Thursday, Sept. 17.

Samantha Butzen, Journalist

Downtown Whitewater’s Cravath Lakefront Park formerly opened its newest addition, a remodeled amphitheater, Thursday, Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. Giving homage to its sponsors, the Frawley Family Cravath Lakefront Amphitheater welcomed guests to a socially distanced event displaying all of its new features.  The community welcomed the much needed update for the amphitheater with speeches and music sponsored by some of the many clubs that help keep the city running, including the Whitewater Rotary Club, Whitewater Community Foundation and the Fourth of July Committee.   

“This amphitheater sponsorship was seen as a great opportunity to recognize my late parents, Jack and Betty Frawley, who started Frawley Oil Company 72 years ago and to thank the residents, businesses, and other entities in Whitewater and the surrounding areas for their patronage over so many years of business,” Mike Frawley said. 

Renovations began in mid-2019 and wrapped up this summer. The amphitheater is equipped with a sound system, lighting, electrical outlets and arched roof. New sod and landscaping was also planted to add the finishing touches. This opens the city up to be available for a wider variety of entertainment opportunities that could not happen in the dated facility that stood there before. 

“Our hope and belief is that this new space, and things like it make a big difference in building a community,” said Whitewater City Manager Cameron Clapper. “Our hope is that this will draw into our many community visitors, as well as bring us together more often so we can enjoy things together and be reminded that we are one community.”   

Due to COVID-19, the city spaced out hand painted picnic tables in distanced squares for groups and provided masks if desired. The distance, however, did not put a damper on the mood. The Dueling Pianos by Wisconsin’s own New Piano Guys had music overflowing the lakefront for hours. Popcorn, water and raffle tickets were handed out to the community members as the performance progressed. It was a karaoke style event that welcomed people from all age groups to request any song to be played. 

“It was really nice to have a light-hearted event to get me out of the house again,” said Whitewater resident Mason Dail. “The community feeling was strong. I could even hear the performance continue long after I left.”