Scotty McCreery, Tenille Townes entertain large crowd at Alabaster CityFest

Published 3:08 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Despite a damp and windy start, community members gathered together to enjoy a plethora of activities and several live performances during this year’s Alabaster CityFest.

Residents enjoyed performances by headliners Scotty McCreery and Tenille Townes as well as several additional artists during the 2024 edition of Alabaster CityFest which took place on June 1 on the front lawn of Thompson High School.

“Our community is faithful to support the event rain or shine, and that really showed this year,” said Jamie Cole, city council member in Alabaster’s Ward 5 and Arts Council vice president.

“The crowd in the afternoon and evening along with the success of the vendors really tells the story of this event.”

Each year, Alabaster CityFest serves as the largest free music festival in Shelby County and features a lineup of local and regional music acts alongside renown headliners. In addition to the live music, the event also offered a variety of activities, including vendors, food trucks and the KidsFest area which featured rides and activities for children in attendance.

According to Cole, a significant crowd gathered together later in the day and several vendors reported that this year’s CityFest was their best festival ever. Some vendors even sold out of food, which Cole said he can’t recall happening before.

“We did get a wet and windy start, but that led to one of the most pleasant evenings in two decades of the festival,” Cole said. “We had many comment on social platforms about wearing a jacket to CityFest for the first time. That pleasant weather brought a huge crowd out for the headliners.”

This year, Townes served as the first headliner for the event and brought with her, her renown display of storytelling and soul-searching songwriting in addition to her backing band.

“You always love a great performance and Tenille certainly delivered,” Cole said.

Alongside the opportunity to wow the crowd at CityFest, Townes was able to enjoy a more personal and intimate moment enjoying Thompson High School’s Bösendorfer Imperial Grand Piano.

“She and her band also toured our facilities at Thompson High School and were excited to jam in our Performing Arts Center,” Cole said. “Of course, we love it when the audience has a great time, but when the performers do, as well, it’s a success.”

McCreery also rocked the stage at CityFest and treated those in attendance to a memorable performance that night—full of colorful instrumentation, singing and lights.

Despite his newfound fame with a No. 1 single, a hit album and after being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, the venue of CityFest was one that McCreery was familiar with—having displayed his talents to the crowds of Shelby County ten years ago.

“His enthusiasm for his new material showed, but he played the old hits as well and covered some of his influences,” Cole said. “It was great to see how he was matured as a performer and songwriter.”

Alabaster CityFest is organized each year by the Alabaster Arts Council—a 501(c) (3) that is dedicated to the enrichment of arts and arts education in the Alabaster Community. Organizing CityFest takes months of preparation and each of the council members volunteer their time for free.

“Leading up to the event and afterwards, it was perhaps the smoothest we’ve ever had,” Cole said. “That is thanks to the huge team of arts council volunteers, from arts council folks to various groups from Thompson High School to city of Alabaster employees and volunteer organizations. We can’t say enough about all the input from hard workers that makes something like this happen.”

Cole also expressed his gratitude to the sponsors of this year’s CityFest whose contributions helped to make the large, free festival possible.

“Our title sponsors, Central State Band and Coca Cola, along with the support of the city of Alabaster, Discover Shelby, Alabama tourism and the long list of sponsors and vendors, help keep this event the largest, free admission festival of its kind in Alabama,” Cole said. “Our supporters are incomparable and so is this event and we are beyond grateful for that.”