PELL CITY – Vendors will start rolling into Lakeside Park on Thursday morning in preparation for the Friday start of the ninth annual LakeFest and Boat Show.
“We had about 15,000 people to attend LakeFest last year, and we’re expecting an even bigger crowd this year,” said Justin Hogeland, one of the organizers for the three-day event that kicks off at noon Friday.
He said organizers budgeted more money for advertising this year, and the weather is expected to be perfect this weekend.
Hogeland said organizers expect to have more than 100 vendors at this year’s event. He said there will be plenty of food, drink and fun for the entire family, and, of course, boats galore.
“We will have pontoon boats, wave runners, bass boats, wakeboard boats, ski boats and roundabout boats,” Hogeland said. “People will also be able to test drive boats.”
During Lakefest, there are about 70 vessels in the large parking lot and another 10 to 15 new boats docked in the water.
Hogeland said there is boat parking for the public, but space is limited. Of course, people can also drive their vehicle to LakeFest.
He said admission is free and open to the public, but there is a designated kids zone, where a $5 pass provides unlimited access to this fun section for children.
Lakefest raises thousands of dollars for local charities, schools and nonprofit organizations. Some of the money raised in years past was used to improve facilities at Pell City Lakeside Park.
The highlight of the event is the drawing for a new pontoon boat Saturday night, and the event is capped off with a drawing for a new ATV. Door prizes are given throughout the three-day event.
Hogeland said guests do not have to be present to win one of the major prizes.
LakeFest opens Friday from noon-9 p.m. Hours will be 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and from noon - 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The event will feature live entertainment Friday and Saturday. Bands slated for the event include Terry Adams, The Ronnie Milton Trio, The Trey Lewis Band, Tyler Ward, Stephen Wheeler and The Whiskey Dix.
Also Darren Knight, aka Southern Momma, a comedian, is expected to make a guest appearance.
Hogeland said the the Pell City Animal Control Center will also have shelter animals people can look over for adoption.