CARTHAGE, Ill. — BYU’s Young Ambassadors brought down the house earlier this month in a renovated auditorium abandoned by Carthage residents 15 years ago.
After a decade-and-a-half of dormancy, the Charger Center in Carthage finally reopened its doors on June 10 as the Young Ambassadors drew a crowd of about 420 people.
Although Latter-day Saints think of Carthage primarily as the site of the 1844 martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the Young Ambassadors’ visit has spurred new connections between the town and Latter-day Saints. Residents also said the Young Ambassadors’ performance marks the beginning of a new performing arts era in Carthage.
“I was tickled to death at the number I have seen here for opening night,” said Mike Bavery, chair of the Carl Sandburg College Board of Trustees. “To have this many people to start out with is just tremendous.”