The 27th Annual Family Day in the Park is expected to attract 10,000 visitors Saturday to Cooper Creek Park for free music and family fun.
“This event is a celebration of family,” said Michael Soul, program director for Davis Broadcasting Inc. of Columbus. “It is a celebration of black music month as well.”
During an 11 a.m. Wednesday news conference, Soul identified some of the top artists for the musical festival featuring blues, gospel, hip-hop and rhythm and blues music from noon to 6 p.m. He also announced an agreement with the city of Columbus to offer Metra bus routes from three locations to the park off Milgen Road.
Top gospel artists include Isaac Caree and Sherrie Moffet while Young Dro, Verse Simmonds, and Slice 9 will perform hip-hop. Adrian Marcel will headline the R&B music, Pastor Troy will rap and Jerald Daemyon will perform some jazz.
“Anywhere you go, a concert of this magnitude could cost $25, $50 or more,” Soul said. “It’s always been free and will continue to be free. We are very proud of that.”
The event will not only showcase national artists. It‘s a showcase for regional and local musical talent, Soul said.
Since the event first started in 1986 at Lakebottom Park and later moved to Cooper Creek, the congestion also has grown for an event that attracts thousands.
This year, Soul said the city will allow parking along Milgen Road. Columbus police will manage security and traffic in the area.
To reduce congestion in the park and along the two-lane road, Metra will provide shuttles from three locations. They include Macon Road and Boxwood Boulevard, Heritage Corner and Victory Drive and Lot A at the Columbus Civic Center.
The shuttle departs from Macon Road at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. The bus leaves Heritage Corner and the Civic Center at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. The cost to ride the shuttle is $2 per trip or $4 for the round trip, Soul said. “This is for people who necessarily don’t have transportation,” Soul said.
For the third year, Soul said Davis Broadcasting is holding a barbecue cook-off, an event that’s worth $250 for the winner of the best ribs in town. “It has been a success,” he said. “We have the champion to come back and hold on to his title.”
At 3 p.m. Saturday, Soul said the show will be stopped to announce the winner of a $5,000 shopping spree.
Children will have a play area in the park while young people listen to music or grill in the park. “It is a family day in the park,” he said.