Despite rain delays, CityFest records large attendance

Country music star Josh Turner performs during CityFest on June 1 at Alabaster's Municipal Park. (Contributed/Kayla Starling)

Country music star Josh Turner performs during CityFest on June 1 at Alabaster’s Municipal Park. (Contributed/Kayla Starling)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Overcast skies and mild temperatures led to large early morning crowds at Alabaster’s 2013 CityFest, but a pair of afternoon rain delays may have decreased the event’s overall attendance.

The threat of afternoon severe weather led to rain delays at about 3 p.m. and about 7:30 p.m., causing musical performances and meet-and-greet events to be pushed back from their original times, said event organizer Adam Moseley.

“We were having to work with the National Weather Service, because they were talking about hail and 40-mile-per-hour winds,” Moseley said on June 4. “We told our guys to go ahead and take down the inflatables and tents because they can’t handle 40-mile-per-hour winds.”

The rain and threat of inclement weather likely kept the event from breaking its attendance record of more than 70,000 from 2012, but Moseley said he still considered this year’s CityFest a successful event.

“I just know that park was full. I’d say it was easily over 55,000, but that’s conservative. I hate to put a number on it,” Moseley said. “It was a successful event, and we had lots and lots of folks out there.”

This year’s CityFest featured musical performances from former Live frontman Ed Kowalczyk and country music star Josh Turner, as well as a slew of vendors and family friendly offerings.

Despite only being a few days removed from the 2013 CityFest, Moseley said he and the Alabaster Arts Council are already planning for next year’s event.

“We are already making plans for 2014,” Moseley said with a laugh. “While you’re working out there, you see things and think, ‘That’s something we need to fix,’ or ‘That’s something we can do a little better next year.’”