With great weather and a large turnout, Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea said he couldn’t have asked for a better weekend for the city to celebrate its official grand opening of Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater.
“We were very fortunate that everything went off very well,” Honea told The Reporter. “We’d had weather issues during construction, but by the time Saturday came around, it was a gorgeous day for our community.”
Country music star Lee Brice kicked off the weekend with the park’s first-ever concert Friday night inside the brand-new amphitheater. According to Park General Manager Patrick O'Brien, close to 2,700 total people attended the concert. Earlier that day, the park also hosted the Marshall County High School Tennis Tournament at the Tennis Center, which included 12 teams and 400 total attendees throughout the day.
On Saturday, approximately 2,000 people visited the park for Opening Day, many of whom took part in the Community Day Passport tour, O’Brien said. Albertville youth sports had its opening day for the city’s softball and soccer leagues, as well. The park hosted six teams at the Albertville High School baseball tournament with an estimated 250 total people attending the event.
“It was really neat to see all that unfold and take place throughout the day,” Honea said. “Having tournaments and out of town guests coming in is awesome and we love to see that, but it was not the same feeling we had Saturday. Having your own folks in the community out there — it was really a special time.”
The mayor said the number of people to thank for a successful weekend event was too long to list, but he did offer special thanks to O’Brien and his team.
“Our grand opening series of events theme of ‘Celebrating Sand Mountain’ was so fitting because the entire region was positively impacted throughout the week and weekend,” O'Brien said. “The official grand opening was an historic moment for the City of Albertville, Marshall County and the Sand Mountain region, Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater, and Sports Facilities Companies because of the lasting impact the venue will have.
“We showcased every aspect of the park and all that it has to offer, while paying tribute to all the hard work, leadership and dedication it took to get us here. Our Mission focuses on dramatically improving mental and physical health, while also driving economic impact, and both aspects were on full display.
“We attracted thousands of people to the park, hosted our first concert with national country-music star Lee Brice, and held a community day passport tour coupled with Opening Day of youth baseball, softball and soccer. It was everything I envisioned our Grand Opening to be and was a culminating point in the Sand Mountain Park journey.
“The most exciting part is that our impact is just starting, and the next chapters of our story will continue to build on all the positive momentum we have established," O'Brien added. "Go Win the Day!”