Opinion: Alabaster takes center stage

Published 11:11 am Monday, June 12, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

Despite being a Shelby County resident for the majority of my life, I was unaware of the existence of Alabaster CityFest until I began working for the Shelby County Reporter. However, ignorance turned to experience as this year marked my first time to attend the annual event.

Alabaster CityFest is the largest free public event in Alabama and is put on every year by the Alabaster Arts Council. The event is full of festivities, including vendors, food, a KidsFest area with rides for children and the main highlight of the event every year is its lineup of music performers.

This year’s CityFest was hosted on the expansive lawn of Thompson High School on June 3 beginning at 9 a.m. This year’s headlining music acts included Michael Warren, Sister Hazel and Chris Lane.

When I arrived at the event that evening, one of the first things I noticed was the massive crowd sprawled across the lawn in lawn chairs as well as those walking around the festival. According to Alabaster Arts Council Vice President Jamie Cole, this was the largest crowd they have ever seen.

I do not know how many of them were first-timers like myself, but the size of the crowd spoke to the organization, credibility and overall success of the event. Locals from all over Shelby County, and even beyond, considered the event worthy of their time that evening.

The second detail I noticed was the massive stage that was set up right in front of Thompson High School. Seeing the size of the stage as well as the various utilities and facilities laced about not only aided in the events scope but also spoke to the massive work the Alabaster Arts Council and the volunteers put into putting the event together. Not only did the event need to be funded and organized, but it had to be assembled like one large puzzle with each festivity contributing a piece. Fortunately, I’m not alone in my appraisal of the event.

“Multiple vendors shared with me that this was the most organized event they have ever attended,” Arts Council Vice President Camille Herron said.

Herron also shared that this type of appraisal makes all of the efforts of herself and other volunteers worth it.

“It’s the one day of the year where we all just come together and pitch in to provide an amazing fun-filled day for not only our local community, but for visitors from surrounding regions and states.”

There is no rest for the wicked either, as Alabaster Arts Council president Adam Moseley shared that the arts council is already set to begin planning next year’s CityFest.

Alabaster CityFest is just one more example of the fantastic annual events that Shelby County has to offer its citizens. It’s easy sometimes to discredit where we live and write it off as just a small place down in Alabama, but if you open your eyes there are many events happening all over the county each and every season for you to enjoy with your family.