LOVEJOY — Lovejoy’s 10th annual Fall Fest held on Saturday showcased a brand new facility that opened to the public.
The new facility features a covered stage, party facilities and dressing rooms, and is the culmination of seven years of work, but Mayor Bobby Cartwright said he’s still looking to do more with the area.
Cartwright said on Saturday the facility construction was funded with the taxpayers in mind.
“It’s just a little under $800,000 with the whole park,” Cartwright said. “That’s a magnificent number. … It’s paid through SPLOST, donations and grants. No general fund money has gone here. We don’t owe anything on it. It’s not 100 percent, we’re going to continue to add, but everything you see with us today belongs to us.”
The facility played host to musical acts for the first time at Saturday’s fall fest, which also included a wide variety of vendors and children’s events, such as bounce houses, a petting zoo and other attractions.
Cartwright said he expected around 4,500 people on hand for Saturday’s event, which went all day and into the evening.
Angie Stone headlined the event and was joined by the Marshall Charloff Purple Xperience, a Prince and the Revolution tribute band, and 630 band.
“All of these facilities are going to be for rent, so if you wanted to have a baby shower in that room, you could rent that facility alone,” Cartwright said.
Cartwright said he envisioned the facility, which includes a theater, to feature parties such as birthday parties or watch parties for NFL games or UFC championship fights, among other things.
Cartwright said the facility is around 7,500 square feet inside and features a wide variety of amenities such as a fully-featured kitchen for anyone that wants to hold their events on site.
“Everything the city builds should be about paying back,” Cartwright said. “This facility’s going to be the same thing. We want to rent the old facility for big events, and we have a way to block it off to control the parking. Everything is brand new, state of the art.”
The new sound system for the facility cost around $100,000, Cartwright said.
The new facility is located on land that had previously belonged to the Clayton County Waste Authority and was donated to the city of Lovejoy after Cartwright, who became a member of the authority upon becoming mayor of Lovejoy, asked for the land.