Parking for the Coca-Cola Foothills Festival could be challenging in its early hours on Friday, as the Alabama Bass Trail at Smith Lake will require use of the Jasper Civic Center for a few hours …
Parking for the Coca-Cola Foothills Festival could be challenging in its early hours on Friday, as the Alabama Bass Trail at Smith Lake will require use of the Jasper Civic Center for a few hours late that day — although handicapped parking will be set for the Foothills for the first time.
This year's festival will be held in downtown Jasper on Friday night and much of Saturday. The public is being encouraged to come after 5 p.m. on Friday and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday to catch all the events. Acts will start on the main stage Friday at 6 p.m. and on Saturday at 3:45 p.m.
However, acts will be seen at Restoration Hall Saturday starting at 11:15 a.m., while some entertainment in the children's area will start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Movies will be held both nights at the children's area at dark.
Brent McCarver, the city's revenue compliance officer, and Linda Lewis, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, said Tuesday that the civic center will be used for the fishing tournament, which is attracting 320 anglers.
"That is going to be our pairing and briefing area Friday afternoon," Lewis said.
Lewis said she is planning to meet with Police Chief J.C. Poe as streets will be closed in some of that area.
"It is going to be very congested for (Friday) afternoon, if they can park somewhere else" besides the Jasper Civic Center area, which is also near where the children's area will be, she said.
Meanwhile, McCarver said handicapped parking will be designated for the first time at the festival, he said.
"For the first time this year, the mayor has designated that handicapped parking will be at the old Downtown Foods. That whole area will be for handicapped accessible. Tommy Carmichael has allowed that, so that will be good."
Handicapped placards or tags will be needed to gain entrance to the area, which will be monitored by Jasper police, McCarver said.
The rest of it will be "first come, first served," he said, noting the chamber's needs for the tournament late Friday afternoon.
"The chamber is going to need all the (civic center) parking Friday afternoon," he said.
Lewis said the anglers will be out no later than 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., Lewis said, and parking will be allowable after 7:30 p.m.
"On Saturday, we are all going to be at the launch," clearing the use of the civic center that day," she said.
McCarver said the civic center will be a recommended place for festival parking Saturday. "Then (parking) is to really line the streets outside the footprint of the festival," he said.
No trams will be taking visitors to the festival, because of congestion on the streets makes it a safety issue for visitors, he said.
McCarver noted Cola-Cola has provided the festival with a number of signs this year as the naming sponsor, including a number of direction signs.
"We're going to have signs from old Highway 78/Highway 118 and Viking Drive all the way in, and from the 269 exit on I-22 all the way in, there will be signage to the handicapped parking, signage to the restrooms, medical and police facilities," he said.
He noted the Carbon Hill Coca-Cola office was involved in arranging the naming sponsorship for the festival, providing a local element in that sponsorship.
In the lot behind Johnathan Sapp's law office past the Walker County Probate Judge's office, air-conditioned, handicapped accessible, large portable toilets will be set up there, McCarver said. Portable toilets, set up a couple at a time, will be installed from one end of the festival to another, he said, from Lavish to Restoration Hall.
In related matters for the festival:
• McCarver said the City of Jasper Animal Shelter will be finding new homes for pets by displaying them in the pocket park next to the Jasper First United Methodist Church youth center.
• Mural artist Missy Miles said during the festival she would continue working on her mural on the back of the Los Reyes Grill building off of 19th Street and the courthouse square, which visitors will be able to see from the street below.
• The Cigar Box, a sponsor of the festival, has announced it will host the founder and CEO of GTO cigars, Dr. Oscar Rodriguez of Montgomery, from 6-9 p.m. Friday, selling cigars and answering questions about his family's tobacco plantations and cigar rolling factories in the Dominican Republic. On Saturday, cigar rollers from New Orleans will demonstrate how cigars are rolled from 2-6 p.m. Saturday.
• The Foothills Pathway 5K will be held for different age groups on Saturday, as a fundraiser for the Walker County Center of Technology. Registration will be at 7:30 a.m. at Jasper City Hall, with the run started at 8 p.m. One may register online at Eventbrite.com or in person at the Walker County Center of Technology. Awards will be given for different age groups, with the first 50 participants getting a T-shirt and gift bag. Entry fees will be $25 for adults and the first family member and $15 for additional family members. Fees will be $10 for children 14 and under, as well as for track team members. Anyone wanting more information may contact Shawna McCullar by emailing mccullars@wcslive or by calling 205-387-0561 at Ext. 2620.
• The schedule for the Family Fun Zone Stage will be as follows: 10:30 a.m. - Marylin Sanders Perfroming Arts, as well as ACE of Jasper at about that time; 11 a.m. - Athletic Arts; 12 p.m. - DreamFit; and 12:30 p.m. - Athletic Arts. Family movies will be shown both nights at dark.