Archived Story

Chamber prepares to host Sun Fest

Published 11:37am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The sun is rising on a new huge community event – SunFest is coming to Alexander City.

“SunFest is going to be huge,” said Ann Rye, president and CEO of the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce. “It’s designed to be an all inclusive festival for the city of Alexander City to attract tourism to our area.”

The festival is set for July 20–27, and already a number of events have been planned.

“It’s an idea that I patterned off a community that I’m familiar with that had some obstacles,” Rye said. “The whole idea of the festival is to unite lake and city and be all inclusive and representative of our entire community.”

The week will kick off with a Miss SunFest pageant. Winners will appear at other SunFest events throughout the week.

“We will have block parties in every neighborhood,” Rye said. “We want everyone to participate.”

Block parties are just the beginning. The list of activities that will feature in SunFest just goes on, including a veterans program, athletic clinics, cheerleading and dance workshops, motorcycle and car shows and an exercise marathon. Other events – like a pet parade, an Aubie versus Big Al fan day and a Battle of the Bands contest – are still in the works.

“We’re trying to have the day packed full of events for all types of people,” Rye said. “All this will be happening in or around downtown.”

SunFest will also feature a T-shirt design contest and, throughout the week, a medallion treasure hunt.

“There will be a medallion hidden, and there will be a riddle you’ll have to solve to find the medallion,” Rye said.

Winners each day will be placed in a drawing at the end of the week for the grand prize.

A Smith Mountain moonlit hike, a cemetery tour and a paddleboard or wakeboard clinic will also be included on the list of events for the week, and all events will lead up to a finale concert that will feature a national headliner, to be held at the Sportplex stadium.

“We need things like this to remind us of who we are and what we can do as a community.” Rye said. “I don’t think you ever get big results if you’re not willing to do the hard work. Where else should we put our time and effort but toward our community? We have to do something to make a difference.”

Although the event has an emphasis of promoting unity in community, another focus is tourism and economic interests.

“A strong community attracts industry and retail,” Rye said. “We can show industries that we’re capable of great things.”

The City of Alexander City has also jumped on board, partnering with the chamber to support SunFest to the tune of $25,000.

More information will be provided about SunFest as it becomes available.

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