About 6,000 attend Family Day Music Festival

benw@ledger-enquirer.comJune 21, 2014 

The music was loud on the stage and some engines were revved up in a line of custom cars as thousands flocked Saturday to the Family Day Music Festival at the Columbus Civic Center.

"I think it's a good thing," Thomas Walker of Smiths Station, Ala., said of the 28th annual festival that moved from Cooper Creek Park this year to the South Commons. "Everybody is getting along."

Walker placed his new 2014 Mustang in the custom car show along with other car enthusiasts. There was also a bike show, 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, games for children and more than 20 vendors selling everything from barbecue to iced lemonade.

Walker said he took a day off from his job to join the car show. The free event was an opportunity to meet new people and talk about cars.

"Cars bring everybody out," he said.

Officials estimated about 6,000 people were in attendance, including about 2,700 children participating in activities at the Columbus Ice Rink.

Most visitors to the east parking lot at the Civic Center said the venue offered more parking, space for different age groups and available restrooms instead of the portable toilets.

Margaret Mason, a frequent visitor to Cooper Creek, came with her granddaughter and said she enjoyed the open space.

"It's nice," said Mason, who has lived in Columbus since moving from Memphis, Tenn., in 1995. "Your kids got a place to go and everything."

The crowd wasn't heavy around 4 p.m., but Mason expected that to change with the R&B artists performing until 10 p.m.

"The only thing I'm going to miss tonight is The Bar-Kays because I've got to go to work," she said.

At age 67, Tina McClendon of Columbus said she was a regular at Cooper Creek when the music festival started. She found a favorite spot under a tree near the custom cars for her goddaughter and 8-year-old grandson.

"He loves cars," she said.

J.A. Hud, a staffer with Davis Broadcasting Inc., the sponsor of the annual event, expected crowds to shift from younger to older people throughout the evening.

"This time is for the young people," he said around 3 p.m.

Michael Sapp of Davis Broadcasting Inc. described the crowd as a blessing but couldn't state whether the event would return to the same location next year.

"We don't know yet," Sapp said. "We have to go back to the drawing board and see."

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