ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – Many folks across the Sand Mountain area were celebrating Thursday as they officially open almost every part of their newest park project.
It was a sunny but cold day as Albertville city leaders finally cut the ribbon on the city’s newest gem.
A large group of people got together first outside to cut the ribbon on the Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater (SMPA).
Back inside, and with not a lot of mask use, the crowd watched the building dedication and unveiling of a legacy wall.
It honors people significant to Albertville youth sports and parks and recreation dating back to the 1950’s.
“The first little league was established March 4, 1958 in Albertville on sandlot neighborhood fields,” said City of Albertville Communication Specialist Robin Lathan.
Lathan’s grandfather JC Bryant was the original founder of organized youth sports in Albertville and was the first parks and rec director.
She cried as she spoke before the unveiling.
“He brought in the Oakridge Boys and he brought in professional wrestling at the time, Harlem Globetrotters, along with youth basketball, softball, baseball. That type of entertainment in a town our size is not something that people are used to seeing. My grandfather poured his heart and soul into the youth of this community and he would be so proud of what’s here today,” Lathan added.
The RV park also opened Thursday.
The fitness center, baseball fields, and indoor swimming pool have been open for a while now.
In just a few short weeks, the outdoor swim area with large slides, splash pad and other amenities will be open, according to General Manager Patrick O’Brien.
“It’s been an incredible journey. We’ve definitely had some challenges, similar to other businesses and projects but the city, and the city council, and mayor have remained steadfast. The community support has been strong and consistent and so, we’re really happy to be here today. It’s come at the hands of a lot of hard work and so it’s exciting to celebrate that work,” said O’Brien.
The full grand opening of SMPA continues this weekend with a full line up of events including a concert featuring Country music artist Lee Brice Friday night.
He told News 19 some general admission tickets were still available.
Click here for more park, ticket or schedule information.