The city makes a gem out of a gym

By Laura MacPherson, Staff Reporter
Published on Friday, July 20, 2012

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The tables are set as guests mingle during the 'Que Ball, the opening event at the $1.1 million renovated Cannon Centre. The building was formerly a gymnasium before the city closed it in 2006.

Laura MacPherson

The tables are set as guests mingle during the 'Que Ball, the opening event at the $1.1 million renovated Cannon Centre. The building was formerly a gymnasium before the city closed it in 2006.



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The porch overlooks the City Park gazebo and pond. 

Laura MacPherson

The porch overlooks the City Park gazebo and pond. 



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The Wooden Nickels band, playing jazz and the blues, entertained guests at the Cannon Centre. The acoustics were enhanced by strategically placed soundboards throughout the venue.

Laura MacPherson

The Wooden Nickels band, playing jazz and the blues, entertained guests at the Cannon Centre. The acoustics were enhanced by strategically placed soundboards throughout the venue.



The newly renovated Cannon Centre was alive tonight with the sounds of bluegrass music as attendees arrived for the ‘Que Ball, a barbeque and bluegrass event put on by the City of Greer to celebrate the opening of the venue.

“When the new City Hall building opened we had a black tie event,” said Steve Owens, communications manager for the City of Greer. “For the opening of The Cannon Centre, we wanted to do something casual and fun.”

Tonight, the Cannon Centre began its life as a multi-purpose arts and entertainment venue. It will be the home of Greer Cultural Arts and will host events throughout the year.

Tables were decorated with festive displays. Bales of hay holding baskets of peaches and jars of barbeque sauce decorated the venue.

Mutts BBQ catered the $50 a ticket event, and buffet tables were spread with a wide array of barbecue, sauces, and sides. People lined up for the cash bar as they enjoyed live music by The Wooden Nickels band.

The City of Greer will have a dedication and open house, free to the public, from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday.

The building’s $1.1 million renovation began a year ago and it was christened the Cannon Centre upon its completion, named to honor the history of the building. The land that the building sits on, and the land of Greer City Park, was originally owned by David Cannon, who was one of the original council members for the city in the late 1800s.

The Cannon Centre was first a National Guard Armory built in 1936. In 1983 the city purchased it and it became the Cannon Street Gymnasium. The Parks and Recreation department used it for basketball leagues, and the city used it for a variety of training exercises, including police physical fitness training.

The city closed the building in 2006, and it quickly fell even further into disrepair.

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