The Columbia County Championship Festival and will return bigger and better next year.
The Masters Week celebration, held at Evans Towne Center Park, was put on by The Savor Society. It included a free family festival on Wednesday, a Chris Young concert Thursday and Lynyrd Skynyrd in the Lady Antebellum Pavilion Friday.
“Overall, the events during the week went very well,” Columbia County Community Events Manager Stacie Adkins said. “The park received a lot of exposure, not just from locals, but from out-of-town guests as well.
“We are already making notes for next year’s events to make the week even bigger.”
The park drew significant Masters Week crowds. About 4,000 people attended the ninth annual Drive for Show, Rock Fore! Dough concert Tuesday. The concert, formerly held at First Tee of Augusta facilities on Damascus Road, was a fundraiser for the youth golf organization.
The Family Fun Day on Wednesday was popular and drew nearly 3,000 people to enjoy the free children’s games and rides, Adkins said.
Despite rainy weather, more than 2,000 people came out to see country artist Young Thursday.
Friday night’s Lynyrd Skyrnyrd performance set a record. About 7,500 people, the largest paid audience at the park, crowded the lawn for the southern rock performance.
“We had a lot of people in the park on Friday night,” said Jim Freudenberg, The Savor Society president and CEO. “It was a great crowd. Lynyrd Skynyrd put on a great show.
“You couldn’t ask for a better ending to the first year.”
Freudenberg said he and other organizers have already started planning next year’s event. The intent it is expend the festival to include a Saturday night concert and several more daytime events.
“We’re going to grow it and even the talent that we’re going to be bringing in next year will be bigger than we had this year,” Freudenberg said.
The pavilion and all the park amenities made it a nice venue for the organizers and artists. Everyone enjoyed working with county personnel, Freudenberg said.
“When everybody cooperates, it makes you want to do more and makes you want to be there more. It’s not a common thing,” said Freudenberg, adding he’s organized events at venues all over the country. “This is, by far, our favorite place to be.”