Alexander City to host annual jazz festival this weekend
Residents and visitors of Alexander City will gather for two nights of music this weekend.
The 33rd annual Alexander City Jazz Fest is this Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday night’s festival is in the city’s historic district at Strand Park. Saturday’s festival is at the Lake Martin Amphitheater. Admission and parking is free both nights.
Visitors can bring their own food, beverages and seating. But vendors will be at the event in both locations.
Jacob Meacham is the president of Alexander City’s Chamber of Commerce. He said this event attracts artists from a variety of genres, tastes and backgrounds.
“It’s got a reputation of attracting some very talented musicians, artists and bands,” he said. “Over the course of those 30-plus years, we’ve had Grammy Award winners, Grammy nominees, folks who have headlined festivals, folks that are new and sort of rising [and] bands that are more established. I think what visitors can expect to see is friendly faces, a great atmosphere and amazing live music.”
Each night will feature music from three bands. Music ranges from rock ‘n’ roll and indie to blues, funk and jam music. Some of these artists have traveled as far as Boston and Charlotte to perform at this event.
Friday night’s performers include Blackbird Pickers and the Adam Ezra Group. Eddie 9V (pronounced Eddie 9-Volt) will headline that night. Saturday night’s performers include Certainly So, Of Good Nature and headliner Big Something.
Meacham said Alexander City’s jazz festival is a great way for city administrators and businesses to connect with residents.
“If you look at cultural and social opportunities for a community, something that’s been going on like this for as long as it has and draws several thousand people [is] the kind of connection you want to build in your community,” he said. “I mean, those are the reasons communities put on small events and festivals. Folks have fun things to do, and [it] expands the cultural offerings in the community.”
Meacham said the jazz festival is also a driver of commercial activity, bringing several thousand visitors and residents to both venues.
Alexander City Jazz Fest began as a 100-year birthday celebration for local department store Frohsin’s in 1991. Meacham said the jazz festival has since evolved to become one of the area’s biggest events each year.
“It’s just grown over the years to something that I would think is our area’s signature event,” he said. “It’s something that people look forward to coming to every year. There’s a lot of local high school reunions that make this part of their plans every summer. I know when I was growing up, I used to come to the jazz festival every year with my family. This is a weekend on the calendar that you always circle to make sure you are back home.”
While there is no ticketing for this event, parking is scattered and there will be some walking required to get to either venue. However, Meacham said walking is no more than a quarter or half a mile away.
Meacham also recommends that visitors come early to explore the area. Information on surrounding restaurants, businesses and activities can be found at www.explorelakemartin.com. More information on the festival can be found at www.alexcityjazzfest.com.