“We’re very excited,” said Debra Talley, the national marketing director for the American Bass Angler Inc./BASSMASTERS. “We expect one of our biggest crowds.”
Talley met with Police Department and Parks and Recreation representatives, along with local organizers, Wednesday afternoon to iron out plans for the weekend series, which is Saturday at Lakeside Park.
“There will be a hub-bub of activities out here,” Talley said. “It’s going to be a wonderful family event.”
The event includes the one-day Alabama South Division 2 Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament and a barbeque cook-off contest.
“We have a record breaking number of cooking teams, 42 teams,” Talley said. “We have a bunch of backyarders (amateur) cooks here, many for their first time.”
Professional cooks are also competing in a cook-off at Lakeside Park Saturday.
She said the interest in the event is strong.
“I think I have talked to half of the people here in Pell City, and Susan (McClendon, her administrative assistant) has talked to the other half,” Talley said.
McClendon said their phones are ringing off the hook with many inquiries about the series.
“We’ve heard from lots, and lots of people from here,” she said.
Children can play in the Kid’s Fun Zone, and Serra Toyota of Birmingham will have vehicle displays.
“We will also have a Battle of the Bands going on all day long,” Talley said. “At the Outdoor Show, spectators have the opportunity to purchase fishing and hunting equipment. The kids will enjoy the inflatables, face painting and other activities at the Kid’s Fun Zone.”
She said Triton Boats will also offer demonstration rides on the lake.
“It’s an all-day free festival for the spectators,” Talley said.
She said more than 200 anglers are participating in the fishing tournament, and there are many outdoors and food vendors participating.
The fishing tournament weigh-in is at 3 p.m., Saturday.
Talley said there are 10 food venders and 25-30 outdoor vendors slated to open up shop at park Saturday.
The event will last the entire day and is expected to end by 8 p.m.
“I’m real excited about this. It sounds like a very fun event,” Mayor Bill Hereford said. “As mayor, I also appreciate the economic impact this event may bring. I expect our restaurants, hotels and merchants to do well.”
Joel Day, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said he is also looking forward to the weekend series.
“I think it’s going to be a great event,” he said.
Day said he hopes the event will bring people to Pell City.
“The whole concept is to bring events like this to fill our hotels and shops,” Day said. “We’re trying to be more proactive in bringing more people and events to Pell City, which will help our local economy.”
Talley said crews will start rolling in this morning, and organizers of the fishing tournament should arrive by Thursday afternoon.
Participants in the cooking contest and fishing tournaments are expected Friday.
The American 150 Series fishing tournament is also slated for Sunday at Lakeside Park.
Public parking is available Saturday at the Pell City Sports Complex. People can take the bridge from the sports complex to Lakeside Park or board a shuttle and ride to the park.
There is also overflow parking at the old Scout Hut, across from Lakeside Park, and at Coosa Pines Federal Credit Union, across from the Civic Center.
There is no public parking inside Lakeside Park Saturday.