Organizers of a three-day family and music festival hope to draw visitors as well as locals to Evans during Masters Week.
The Columbia County Championship Festival includes performances by Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, country artist Chris Young and a day of family-friendly activities at Evans Towne Center Park, said Jim Freudenberg, president and CEO of The Savor Society, which produces the festival.
“Our hope is to grow the event every year,” Freudenberg said. “We hope to expand it, add a few more days and grow this thing so it becomes an annual event.”
The festivities are preceded by today's annual Rock Fore! Dough concert at the park’s Lady Antebellum Pavilion. The concert is a fundraiser for First Tee, an organization that works to introduce young people to golf.
Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said he’d like to see the festival draw visitors and residents, even those not interested in golf.
“It’d give them a place to go,” Cross said. “We’d like to bring something back that could be a mainstay for years to come.”
The festival starts Wednesday with Family Day. Free activities include inflatables, children’s rides, giant slides, rock-climbing walls and a petting zoo from noon to 6 p.m. The Savor Society will sell picnic meals and other concessions will be available.
Freudenberg invites families to bring blankets and enjoy musical entertainment from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion.
“We’re trying to make it a long, special free day that kids and families can enjoy,” Freudenberg said.
The family festival ends with a fireworks display after 8 p.m., followed by Fund the Boom, a private event to raise money for the annual Armed Forces Day Thunder Over Augusta fireworks show.
Fund the Boom, from 8:30-11 p.m., features guest speaker Rudy Guiliani and acoustic entertainment from Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies. Tickets cost $100 and are available from Windsor Jewelers or online at www.columbiacountychampionshipfestival.com.
Country artist Chris Young, with special guest Brent Cobb, will perform at the pavilion Thursday evening. The show benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“He’s a very hot act right now,” Freudenberg said of the Nashville Star winner. “It will be a great show.”
Advance tickets cost $27.50 and can be purchased at the Web site. Tickets will be available for $35 at the gate.
Lynyrd Skynyrd will bring its own brand of Southern guitar rock to the Lady A stage Friday at 7 p.m.
Advance tickets can be purchased for $40 online or at Kirkland’s Flooring in Evans. Tickets at the gate will cost $55. Military discount tickets cost $34, and children under 12 get in free.
A VIP pass that includes access to the Hooters VIP tent and patio area, a full bar and appetizers is available for an additional $100.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.columbiacountychampionshipfestival.com or call (317) 334-3000.