PELL CITY -- Rain is in the forecast as organizers gear up for Friday’s opening of the eighth annual LakeFest at Pell City Lakeside Park.

“We deal with rain every year. That’s just LakeFest,” said Eric Housh, one of the organizers of the annual event. “We’re here for the party.”

Housh, along with Justin Hogeland, were directing traffic as the main park road began to fill with vehicles towing boats to the large parking lot inside the park.

Hogeland said LakeFest will have about 60-70 boats of all shapes and sizes. He said guests can check out pontoon boats, fishing boats, as well as runabouts and luxury center console boats.  

“We’ll have 15 or so boats in the water for people to test drive or ride,” Housh said.

Housh said American First Federal Credit Union will be on site for financing if someone decides to buy a boat. He said there will be no pressure sales at LakeFest, but the annual event is a great place to buy a boat, if you’re in the market.

For the first time ever, Harley Davidson of Trussville will have motorcycles at LakeFest, Housh said.

“We’re excited to have them as a part of the event,” he said.

LakeFest will open at noon and close at 9 p.m. Friday with a spectacular fireworks display. LakeFest will reopen Saturday at 9 a.m. and continue until 9 p.m., when there will be a drawing for a $20,000 boat.

Hogeland said live music will start Friday at 4 p.m. The headliner, Deputy Five, will take the stage at 6.

At each hour, there will be a giveaway, Housh said. People can win prizes with their entry form, which will be given to them when they enter LakeFest.

“They just fill it out and drop it off at the LakeFest tent,” he said. “They can buy additional tickets at the LakeFest tent.”

On the final drawing Saturday, someone will float away with a $20,000, 18-foot luxury Bennington Pontoon.

Housh said LakeFest organizers expect 33 vendors and sponsors.

He said local car dealerships McSweeney Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram, and Town & Country Ford will have vehicles on display.

“People have been asking for more food options,” Housh said. “Our food court is about twice the size as it was last year.”

He said two more local restaurants will join in on the party this year, Toast Sandwich Eatery and Chicago Mike’s.

“We’re excited about having those two local food vendors,” Housh said.

He said Golden Rule BBQ will also return to LakeFest.

“There will be plenty of food, so come hungry,” Housh said.