Variety of acts flock to venue

AIKEN - Several family shows are included in the events announced Thursday for the University of South Carolina Aiken Convocation Center.

Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney Live! and Sesame Street Live will come to the area within the next year. Other acts announced include R&B singer Omarion, formerly of B2K, and the Lipizzaner Stallions, featuring European horses and riders.

"This is some of the widest variety of events that have ever been brought to this area, so it's good to be able to blitz the area with new entertainment," said Jennifer Kelly, the center's general manager.

The center will open Tuesday with rock acts Hinder and Papa Roach. Kenny Rogers will play May 5.

Booking Director Eric Cuthbertson, with Disney Live! and the circus, said he's found audiences are looking for a more intimate environment for events.

The new center will seat approximately 4,000.

"This is a building for the entire CSRA community, and we're very excited for the opening," Vice Chancellor Ginger Hudock said.

Reach Julia Sellers at (803) 648-1395, ext. 106, or julia.sellers@augustachronicle.com.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

May 1: Hinder with Papa Roach (tickets on sale now)

May 5: Kenny Rogers (tickets on sale now)

May 24: Omarion (tickets go on sale May 5 at 10 a.m.)

May 25: Aiken Rhythm & Blues Festival

July 19-22: Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus (tickets go on sale mid-May)

Nov. 13: Guitar Pull

Spring 2008: Lipizzaner Stallions; Disney Live!, Mickey's Magic Show; Sesame Street Live, Super Grover! Ready for Action

Tickets on sale at www.uscatix.com, by phone at (866) 722-8877 or at the USC Aiken Convocation Center located on Robert M. Bell Parkway in Aiken.