Evans Town Center Park opens Saturday

Rick Monroe will perform at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion in Evans Town Center Park on Saturday.



A newly-finished Evans park will open Saturday, Oct. 22, with performances by several country and rock artists, just a week before Lady Antebellum is set to perform.

Nashville singer Rick Monroe, headlining Jagermeister’s Get UR Country on Tour, will play at Evans Town Center Park’s grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Musicians Gary Ray, SwampDaWamp and Kara Clark will also perform during the “tune-up” event for officials to make sure equipment and lighting are working properly before Lady Antebellum’s acoustic show on Oct. 28.

Saturday’s event starts at 2 p.m., but the concerts won’t get under way until about 4 p.m.

Monroe is no stranger to touring, having spent most of 2011 on the road. Earlier this year, Monroe traveled with country performer Dierks Bentley for three months and the two played at James Brown Arena in March. Monroe also recently performed a concert at the Country Club.

The artist has played a private concert for former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev while touring Russia and has performed throughout the world.

“I’ve been very fortunate playing music,” said Monroe, who started performing in public at age 15.

The guitarist and songwriter said he’s looking forward to being one of the first acts to take the stage at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion, a 5,000-seat venue. He plans to put on a show full of “fun and craziness.”

“It’s all about having a good time,” Monroe said. “You want to make sure that they (the audience) have an opportunity to escape whatever’s going on and just have a good time – a couple hours of enjoyment and fun. That’s what you want to leave them with.”

While music is the focus of the event, activities will be going on all day, including pony rides, a petting zoo, a rock-climbing wall, a mechanical bull, inflatable activities and food vendors.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. The event will last until about 9 p.m. and is free. Parking costs $5. The money will go to Shepeard Community Blood Center, which will have a blood mobile on site. Learn more at (706) 312-7192 or columbiacountyga.gov.