By Paul Huggins, Staff Writer, The Decatur Daily
Festivals and community events throughout Morgan County will have access to a new mobile performance stage.
Sen. Arthur Orr secured $75,000 from the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel for the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau to buy the stage and manage its use.
Orr said he saw the need for the stage while attending the summer Concerts by the River in which performers stand on the ground. Decatur Parks and Recreation has had a portable stage on its wish list for years but was unable to afford one.
“This stage will help with Rhodes Ferry concerts, SoulStock, Depot Days, Frontier Days and similar functions around the county,” Orr said in a press release. “Events like these not only bring tourist dollars in but also provide a great way for local families to enjoy being together in a wholesome, outdoor atmosphere.”
24 by 20 feet
The stage measures 24 by 20 feet and includes a roof, backdrop, stairs, ramp, professional lighting and sound wings.
Tami Reist, visitors bureau president, said the stage is first class and identical to the one Bassmaster uses at weigh-in events. It will be another tool the bureau can use to attract events, she said.
Melinda Dunn, historic resources and events coordinator for parks and recreation, said the stage will be a big help for Concerts by the River because it provides protection for the sensitive equipment and musical instruments and also gives audiences a better view of performers.
Parks and recreation will store the stage between events and provide personnel to set it up. The visitors bureau will manage the stage’s use, and Reist said use will involve a small fee, to be determined, to cover the city’s set-up expense.
The stage is available to all festivals, community activities and special events in Morgan County on a first-come, first-serve basis. Persons scheduling events in 2009 may contact the visitors bureau immediately to reserve the stage. Reservations for events in 2010 will begin Jan. 2.