Waterside District kicks off grand opening celebration

(WAVY/Rico Bush)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The new Waterside District kicked off its grand opening celebration Thursday.

The rainy weather didn’t put a damper on the event, which is running through Saturday and features free concerts. Concertgoers packed the Weezer show on Thursday night.

The Fudgery at Waterside was buzzing throughout the day.

“I’m just ecstatic to come back to Norfolk,” said the Fudgery’s Steve Pozek.

The Fudgery has been here before. The Outer Banks business was one of the first tenants in the old Waterside when it opened in 1983. When things went downhill, the store was forced to leave.

“It was a stab in the heart,” Pozek said. “This place — the City of Norfolk — has always had a place in our hearts and the opportunity to come back is so good.”

Pozek says he believe this version of Waterside will be much different than the old one.

“It’s going to have a completely different vibe to it,” Pozek said. “The Cordish Group that runs the mall, they are experienced operators. They know how to run a center like this. It is going to be a big success for years. It’s going to be someplace Norfolk is proud to have.”

Photos: Waterside District Opening

The Elizabeth River Ferry and The Tide will be running additional service for the Waterside District’s grand opening.

Ferry rides will be free all day Saturday and Sunday, courtesy of Elizabeth River Crossings. The ferry, which connects the downtown areas of Norfolk and Portsmouth, will run until midnight Thursday through Saturday. It will operate every 30 minutes until 5:15 p.m., then every 15 minutes through midnight.

The Tide light rail will run every 15 minutes in the evening on Thursday, until midnight, then will revert to regular hours and service Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The closest stops to Waterside are MacArthur Square or Civic Plaza.

Parking garages near Waterside will collect a $5 on-entry fee through Saturday. Cash or credit will be accepted at Waterside and Main Street garages. Fountain Park, Town Point, West Plume and Boush Street garages will be cash only.

You can find details and an in-depth schedule for the celebration on hrScene.com.