A newly-finished Evans park will open Saturday with performances by several country and rock artists, just a week before Lady Antebellum is set to perform.
Nashville singer Rick Monroe, headlining Jagermeister's Get UR Country on Tour, will play at Evans Town Center Park's grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Other musicians scheduled to perform are Gary Ray, SwampDaWamp and Kara Clark.
The event starts at 2 p.m., but the concerts won't get under way until about 4 p.m.
Monroe is no stranger to touring, having spent most of 2011 on the road.
Earlier this year, Monroe traveled with country performer Dierks Bentley for three months and the two played at the James Brown arena in March.
Monroe also recently performed a concert at the Country Club Dance Hall & Saloon.
The artist has played a private concert for former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev while touring Russia and has performed throughout the world and United States.
"I've been very fortunate playing music," said Monroe, who started performing in public at age 15.
Monroe, also a guitarist and songwriter, said he's looking forward to being one of the first acts to take the stage at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion, a 5,000-seat venue. He plans to put on a show full of "fun and craziness."
"It's all about having a good time," Monroe said. "You want to make sure that they (the audience) have an opportunity to escape whatever's going on and just have a good time - a couple hours of enjoyment and fun.
"That's what you want to leave them with."
While music is the focus of the event, other activities will be going on throughout the day.
"There's going to be all kinds of family-fun activities," said county Community Events Specialist Keela Colombraro.
Attractions include pony rides, a petting zoo, a rock-climbing wall, a mechanical bull, inflatable activities, face painting and food vendors.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The event will last until about 9 p.m. and is free to attend.
Parking will cost $5 and is located across the street on county-owned land that was formerly part of Marshall Square. The money will go to Shepherd Community Blood Center, which will have a blood mobile on site for people to give blood donations.
The concert will also serve as a "tune-up" for officials to make sure equipment and lighting are working properly before Lady Antebellum's acoustic show on Oct. 28, Colombraro said. The park cost nearly $5 million to construct and includes picnic pavilions, a large gazebo, a splash pad and a dog park.
"This has been a long time coming and we're all so excited that it's finally almost here," Colombraro said of the park's grand opening.
Call (706) 312-7192 or visit www.columbiacountyga.gov.