Friday, Aug. 9, is a day the City of Boaz has been anticipating for more than two years.
At 10 a.m., the city will hold a grand opening ceremony for Old Mill Park. The park is a $2.5 million project that has been in the works since plans started taking shape in the summer of 2017.
The celebration includes a ribbon cutting, a flag dedication ceremony and music from a variety of artists later in the evening, headlined by a special performance from Muscadine Bloodline starting at 7:30 p.m.
“With Friday, Aug. 9, quickly approaching, we’re very excited to open Old Mill Park,” Boaz Economic Development Director Kerry Walls said. “The park will provide a place in our community where all individuals and families will have a place to share and improve their quality of life in Boaz. The celebration includes multiple artist from different genres, headlining the show is Alabama’s own Muscadine Bloodline who will bring a high energy show singing their hit songs like ‘Porch Swing Angel,’ ‘Depending on the Night’ and ‘Movin’ On.’ We are expecting a great night with the community.”
Muscadine Bloodline is an up-and-coming, “Southern rock-meets-country” duo from Mobile, featuring Gary Stanton and Charlie Muncaster. The two came together in early 2016 and has been on the rise since. The duo known for its “high-energy live experiences” recently performed at CMA Fest and has been on tour with country music star Kip Moore, among others.
Boaz Mayor David Dyar said the park provides the city a chance to host many more artists like Muscadine Bloodline in the future, but there are no intentions of limiting the park’s space to music only.
“This park opens the doors for lots of opportunities to host different events that can help bring our community together and continue to grow,” Dyar said. “The city and [Boaz Area Chamber of Commerce] are working together to come up with future events to be held here. I believe part of this year’s Harvest Festival activities will be happening there.”
With amenities including an amphitheater, a pirate-themed splash pad, playground, walking trail and multiple pavilions, Dyar said it could arguably be the nicest park in North Alabama.
“For me personally, I think the park is a good sign that we’re moving in the right direction,” Dyar said. “Not many cities the size of Boaz have facilities like that.”
Music begins Friday afternoon with a special performance from the Boaz Intermediate School Choir at 3 p.m., immediately followed by The Pickers from Guntersville at 4 p.m.. After The Pickers, The Clay Jones Band, of Arab, will perform at 5 p.m. Soul Survivor Band opens for Muscadine Bloodline at 6 p.m.
A few local food trucks and vendors are expected to sell concessions, but there is no cost of admission. Coolers and pets will not be allowed for the grand opening; smoking will also be prohibited. Walls said all concertgoers need to bring is a chair and/or a blanket.
The splash pad and playground will be closed for the grand opening and won’t be open until Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Starting Saturday, splash pad hours of operation are Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; Monday-Friday, noon-5 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The city will close a few roads for the event, but residents who live in the area will have access to their homes. Closures include East Mann Avenue, starting from Darnell Street to Brown Street; Darnell Street, starting from Alabama Highway 168 to East Mann Avenue; and Brown Street, from Alabama Highway 168 to East Mann Avenue.
Boaz police will be stationed to help people cross Alabama Highway 168 at the designated crossing located where the highway intersects with Darnell Street. Alabama Highway 168 will not be closed.
Those looking to attend the grand opening concert will be able to park at the following locations: Boaz Public Library, Boaz Professional Complex and Old VF Outlet. Handicap parking will be located on Whitman Street. Concert parking is prohibited at the following business locations: Piggly Wiggly, Abundant Life Chiropractic and Boaz Discount Furniture.
While parking options might be considered an issue now, Dyar said the city plans to create more spaces at the property neighboring the Boaz Fire Department in the future.