Lake lovers, music lovers, boat lovers and fun lovers converge on Logan Martin Lake this weekend for the 5th Annual Lakefest. This event is the official opening of the lake season on Logan Martin and has quickly become the largest in-water boat show in the state with boat dealers coming from as far as Atlanta to display. The event in Pell City’s Lakeside Park also features a small auto show, musical acts throughout the weekend, and booths filled with lake-focused wares such as outdoor kitchens, patio furniture and fishing equipment. Historically, Lakefest has seen about 6,000 visitors over the course of the weekend, but organizers are planning for around 10,000 this weekend due to an increased emphasis on promotion – a boon to the local economy.
Gates to the free event open Friday afternoon at 1 with that day being capped by a fireworks show at 8 p.m. in honor of local veterans. “Our veterans are very important to us,” said event organizer Justin Hogeland. “We bring them in every year from the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City under a police escort and really make them feel special for the fireworks show.”
Saturday kicks off with some more serious, but important events – boater safety and the Hummingbird depth finder seminar – geared to making this summer on the lake the best and safest ever. The afternoon is filled with more great music and an after party starting at 10 p.m. at the Caribe Club. Sunday is low key and generally reserved for serious boat buyers to return.
Boats shown will run the gamut – from high-end ski boats and wave runners to jet boats and pontoon boats, and nearly everything in between. Event organizers expect to have roughly 60 boats all “water ready” – meaning if someone wants to test-drive one, it can be put in the water and run about. There will also be experts on hand to help shoppers learn about each boat and decide which style, size and features should go on a wish list.
The Logan Martin Lakefest and Boat Show was originally organized to raise money for the Logan Martin Lake Protection Association (lmlpa.org.) This 450-plus member organization was formed more than a decade ago to promote the health of the lake and surrounding areas. Since its inception, members have coordinated and provided volunteers for many Renew Our Rivers cleanups, area wetlands conservation efforts and periodic water quality testing. As the event grew, however, it has expanded to supporting other groups in the community.
“We are proud to have met our goal building the largest in-water boat show in Alabama,” said Hogeland. “But, even more rewarding is the $50,000 we have been able give back to the local community in the last 5 years.”
New this year is the inclusion of some local celebrities. J-P Dice from FOX6 in Birmingham will be doing live weather on Friday night. And, Speedy from the Rick & Bubba Show will be on hand for part of the weekend signing autographs and greeting fans.
For more information, directions and a full sponsor list, visit loganmartinlakefest.com.
4 p.m. – Peter Boyle
6 p.m. – Justin Gannon
Noon – Nashville Bound
2 p.m. – Jamison Taylor and the Iron City Pickers
4 p.m. – Matt Bennett
6 p.m. – Chase Davidson