Alabaster OKs agreement for 2015 CityFest

Country music star Rodney Atkins performs in front of thousands of fans at the Alabaster CityFest on June 7, 2014, at Municipal Park. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Country music star Rodney Atkins performs in front of thousands of fans at the Alabaster CityFest on June 7, 2014, at Municipal Park. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The city of Alabaster will again partner with the Alabaster Arts Council to bring the CityFest celebration to Municipal Park in June, but the city is taking steps to avoid the field damage the park saw last year.

During its Dec. 22 meeting, the Alabaster City Council approved an agreement with the Arts Council for CityFest, which is held the first weekend in June and has been the largest music festival in Shelby County for more than a decade.

Through the agreement, the Arts Council will manage the festival, secure funding from outside sources to help produce the event, offer an Alabaster employees’ appreciation area at the festival and “provide any and all services deemed necessary in production of the festival.”

In return, the city will allow the Arts Council to use the park at no cost, provide $60,000 to help with the production of the festival, provide restroom facilities at the event and will provide some city employees to help during the festival.

Last year, more than 60,000 visitors attended CityFest on June 7, which featured country music star Rodney Atkins and Fuel as its headline musical performers.

However, heavy rains hit the area after the final musical act of the evening, causing more than $100,000 in damages to the Municipal park field as crews rushed to remove equipment from the field.

The City Council footed the bill for the repairs in late June, and is looking to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future.

During the festival, the Arts Council will “accept oversight and guidance from city-assigned personnel to reduce likelihood of excessive damage to public property as it relates to equipment or vehicles being placed upon the playing fields,” read the agreement.

“We are hoping that was a one-off, not something we saw coming type of deal,” Council President Scott Brakefield said of last year’s repairs.