It started out as a grandiose statue to honor the late Al Copeland, but after a lot of controversy and re-planning, it morphed into the Al Copeland concert meadow, a huge open-air stage in the center of Lafreniere Park.
Officials cut the ribbon Wednesday morning to inaugurate the permanent music venue inside the Metairie park.
Copeland, who passed away five years ago, after a long bout with cancer, left behind his well-known and successful chain of restaurants and a philanthropic organization called “The Al Copeland Foundation.” The foundation also gave a $25,000 gift to LSU Health Sciences Center to assist in the fight to find a cure for cancer.
“Al Copeland, Jr. and the Copeland Foundation have made it their intention to make sure that they find a cure for that disease and all types of cancer also,” Ben Zahn of the Jefferson Parish Council told WGNO’s Jon Huffman. “So it’s important that things that have been donated to LSU Medical Center, in conjunction with Lafreniere Park with this stage. I believe that this is a major monument, a major symbol for what they’re trying to do to rid the world of that disease.”
The concert stage will have its official opening on Thursday at 6 p.m. when Band Camp takes the stage. The performance is free and open to the public.