Lay Lake festival brings normalcy back to 4-H Center

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA — Few things bring people together like live music. There was plenty to be heard Saturday, March 13 at the inaugural Lay Lake Music & Arts Festival, hosted by the Alabama 4-H Center.

The center, which supports 4-H programs in all 67 Alabama counties, took a huge hit from the pandemic in 2020 as schools were not allowed to travel to events like 4-H Summer Camp.

In response, leaders at the center tried to come up with events that would draw families and allow families to stay together while participating. The Lay Lake Music & Arts Festival was born out of this effort.

“We’ve been trying to promote things where we can show that we can social distance and wear masks and still have a good time,” said Alabama 4-H Center Assistant Manager Kristy Abrams. “The musicians were incredible and all the guests were really happy with everything. We appreciated all the support from people coming and enjoying the day with us.”

The festival featured several musical guests including the headliner Rumours, a Fleetwood Mac cover band. Arts and crafts booths were also set up throughout the grounds, as well as food trucks.

Abrams called the event a success and said the center plans on doing it again next year. She said several attendees were first-timers and some were from out of state.

“It was just a perfect day. We had a lot of great comments on the new construction and renovation, and they loved the bands,” she said.

She thanked the festival’s sponsors including: America’s First Credit Union, Brown Lumber, Goodwyn Mills Company, Business Interiors, Shelby County Commissioner Kevin Morris, Smiley’s Hauling & Construction, Tim Abrams, Coosa Cotton, Southern Pipe, Research Solutions, Eagle Framing and Construction, Clanton Auto Supply, The Garage, and Central Paper Co.