Country music and family fun marked the grand opening of a new Evans park.
Hundreds gathered at Evans Town Center Park on Saturday to enjoy the day's festivities and check out the park's features, which include picnic pavilions, a large gazebo, a splash pad and a dog park.
"This belongs to the people of Columbia County," said Commission Chairman Ron Cross at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Cross, county commissioners and others involved in the project grouped together to cut a large red ribbon at the park's entrance.
"This has been the dream and focus of a few, but it's been the work of very, very many," Cross said.
The park took nearly a year to complete and cost about $5 million.
Throughout the day, children gravitated to the rock-climbing wall, mechanical bull and inflatables. Another popular spot for children was the large playground, which stayed busy during afternoon hours.
Evans resident Anna Connolly watched as her 2-year-old son, Caden, took a trip down the slide. Living just a mile away from the park, Connolly said she expects to spend much time there with her children.
"It's nice to have another place to go that's safe and new," she said.
Country rock artist Rick Monroe and other musicians were the first to play at Lady Antebellum Pavilion, a 5,000-seat amphitheater at the park.
With Lady Antebellum playing an acoustic show on Oct. 28, the concert served partly as a "tune-up" to make sure lighting and sound equipment worked properly.
"I think we're going to have a long string of great events that are going to be located on this facility and we look forward to it," Commissioner Ron Thigpen said.