“Last year, notice went out all over the state for towns to join the Year of Alabama Small Towns & Downtowns,” Mayor Bill Hereford said. “We already had the key ingredient in place, the annual Block Party, and that weekend was perfect.”
Hereford said Pell City is one of 215 towns participating in the Great Alabama Homecoming, a part of the Year of Alabama Small Towns & Downtowns. Pell City’s Great Alabama Homecoming weekend is June 4-6.
“We want folks to come home for the weekend, and spend time with family attending many of our great free family events,” he said.
Hereford said the three main events include the Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce Tenth Annual Hometown Block Party, the Parks and Recreation Department Kids Catfish Rodeo, and the St. Clair County Home Builders Association 2010 Summer Fest. Other activities may be incorporated into the weekend as well.
Hometown Block Party
Each year, people come from near and far for a great night of music, food, fun, games, and friendship at the annual Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce Hometown Block Party.
“We are still evolving with this year’s Block Party plans,” Block Party Chairwoman Pam Adamson said.
The block party is Friday, June 4, in downtown Pell City. The event kicks off about 5:30 p.m. and usually lasts until about 11 p.m. The event is free to the public, and is a family event with no alcoholic beverages allowed.
“Last year, I feel we truly came into our own with the Block Party,” Adamson said. “The weather cooperated, and we had so many people having a great time with very few complaints.”
Adamson said this year’s Hometown Block Party will feature four stages, a multi-performance area, a kid’s corner, and numerous vendors.
“We are still working on the sponsorships for the different stages,” she said.
Adamson said the Leverton Brothers Band and Steve Shafer will share one stage, Stephanie Pickett and the Style Band will share a second stage, the Inspirational stage will feature Joey Kay, Jameson Willis, Mothers to Daughters, and the Harvest Center Praise Team, and the Impersonator’s stage will feature Kenny Chesney, Elvis, Tom Jones, Conway Twitty, Michael McDonald, Kenny Rogers, and Rascal Flatts. The multi-performance area will feature Starrz Performing Arts Centre performers and the Harvest Center Drama Team. The Logan Martin Swingers will perform in front of the Leverton Brothers Band/Steve Shafer stage.
“We had so many attendees last year, that people were parking up at Pell City High School and down at the Pell City Steakhouse area,” Adamson said. “This year, Southland Golf Carts will provide shuttles and drivers from multiple designated spots to the Block Party and back.”
Hereford said the city’s Senior Bus will also help shuttle individuals to and from the event.
“We are still working out the details, but the shuttles will be free of charge,” Adamson said.
Adamson said the Hometown Block Party Committee has been hard at work. Committee members include Jason Goodgame, Caran Wilbanks, Tommy Bowers and Becky Bowman. Chamber executive director Lynn Batemon also works in close connection with the committee.
“This is almost a year-round thing,” Bowers said. “We are always looking at ways to improve the Block Party experience.”
Bowers said a number of additional port-a-johns are added, along with MOPS baby changing stations in a couple of locations. Councilman James McGowan is organizing a Cleanup Pell City Task Force to assist with the cleanup in areas outside the Hometown Block Party (side streets, etc.).
Hereford said the city hall lobby will be open, providing extra restroom facilities.
“We improved and expanded the kid’s area last year, and are adding something for older kids this year,” Bowers said. “We are adding a climbing wall and a bungee jump.”
Bowers said last year’s vendors may retain their spot if they submit their applications by the April 23 deadline.
“After that, it’s first come, first served,” he said.
Batemon said about 30 vendor applications have already been turned in, including about 12 food vendors.
Food choices include fried Oreos, funnel cakes, shaved ice, lemonade, nachos, hamburgers, hot dogs, kabobs, drinks, Polish sausage, barbecue sandwiches, Philly cheese steak, fish and French fries, boiled and roasted peanuts, ice cream, drinks, and more.
Other vendors will offer a variety of information, as well as T-shirts, bags, jewelry, candles, blankets, cosmetics, air brush body art temporary tattoos, paintings, photography, and more.
“The city works hand-in-hand with us each year,” Adamson said. “We have a police officer assigned as a liaison, and a good police presence at the Block Party to help ensure safety.”
Adamson said they are hoping for good weather for the entire weekend of events.
“Our focus is on a weekend of free events,” she said. “We want to encourage people to come home to Pell City for the weekend. They can attend the Block Party, Kids Catfish Rodeo, and Homebuilders Association event, and then spend Sunday with their families going to church or having a picnic at Lakeside Park.”
For more information, call the chamber at 205-338-3377.
Kids Catfish Rodeo
The Parks and Recreation Eighth Annual Kids Catfish Rodeo combines several hundred kids with about 1,500 pounds of catfish in a fun morning event.
“The Kids Catfish Rodeo is a lot of fun each year,” Pell City Civic Center coordinator Nancy Crow said.
The rodeo is 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 5, at Lakeside Park. The event is for children ages 2-12, and is free to attend.
“We will have approximately 1,500 pounds of catfish in a netted area for the kids to fish in,” Crow said.
She said the children may catch as many catfish as they can, and are allowed to keep up to three of the catfish to take home with them.
“The Coosa River Crappie Association members volunteer their time and clean and fillet the fish for the kids,” she said.
Crow said this year’s Catfish Rodeo will also feature a designated area for special needs children. The Pell City Civitan Club will assist in the special needs children area.
Crow said children should bring their own fishing pole, bait, and a stringer or ice chest. A parent or guardian must accompany the children. Parents and guardians are for support only, and are not allowed to help with the actual fishing.
“We usually have donated goody bags for the kids, and tagged catfish with prizes for the kids who catch the tagged fish,” she said. “We are hoping to have that again this year.”
Crow said after the rodeo, the fish will remain in the netted area for a couple days.
“The public is welcome to fish in that area after the Kids Catfish Rodeo, and take home the catfish they catch,” she said.
For more information, call the Pell City Civic Center at 205-338-9713.
Home Builders Association Summer Fest
The Second Annual St. Clair County Home Builders Association 2010 Summer Fest features a variety of entertainment, food, and vendors.
The Summer Fest is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at Lakeside Park.
“We will have live entertainment with dancing and music,” said Joel Day, chamber president and board member of the Home Builders Association.
Day said the event will feature door prize drawings all day, one grand prize drawing, vendors, food, games, kids face painting, balloons, bouncing activities, water activities, cake walks, and more.
“All the kids activities are free,” said Lacosta Richards, executive officer of the Home Builders Association.
Richards said the event is a day of fun for the entire family, with no coolers allowed.
“The vendors are usually supporters of home builders, such as banks and home building suppliers,” Day said. “But the event is open to any vendors who wish to participate.”
The deadline for registration is May 25.
For more information, call 205-473-4339 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.