Altoona’s newfound and rapidly growing hub River Prairie will be playing host to another event this weekend — but this time it’s sure to be a party.
This weekend will mark the first Party in the Prairie, a two-day event that kicks off on Saturday with a performance by country crooner Lee Brice in the development’s newly constructed amphitheater. On Sunday, the event continues with a Runn’n on the River 5K run/walk, followed by a barbecue and bloody mary festival on Sunday.
Party in the Prairie is one of many community events to kick off the first summer season for the development, which also hosted Music in the Park on Wednesdays throughout the summer, as well as a farmers’ market that continues from 4 to 7 p.m. every Monday through the end of October.
Party in the Prairie organizer David Burg said he hopes the new event will be another opportunity to bring those from surrounding communities out to the development’s “beautiful” park if they haven’t already been there. Nestled along the Eau Claire River and lined with trees, Burg said the space also has five miles of trails for attendees to enjoy.
“We want to showcase the park and what it’s capable of,” Burg said. “And also kind of bring larger acts on a smaller venue scale than what’s been done in the past.”
Burg hopes that idea of a big name like Brice performing in a small town will make this event stand out. The concert will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday at the River Prairie Park Amphitheater, the newest outdoor concert venue in the area. General admission tickets for $32 are still available.
Brice first broke into country music stardom with his 2010 song “Love Like Crazy,” which was named the top country song of 2010, according to Billboard Year-End. The single also broke a record for the longest run on the country charts. Brice is also known for hits like “I Drive Your Truck” and “Drinkin’ Class.”
When not producing his own music, Brice has co-written singles for other country artists including Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, the Eli Young Band and Adam Gregory.
Recently, the singer has gotten national attention for his latest single “Rumor.” The music video released earlier this month features his wife, Sara.
At the barbecue and bloody mary festival Sunday, 12 local bars will serve sample drinks and seven local food trucks will serve food and barbecue samples from noon to 4 p.m.
Tickets to that event are $10, or $5 with the purchase of a Brice concert ticket. Sunday’s Runn’n on the River 5K will begin at 10 a.m. and costs $20 for those 10 and older.
Trailer Choir, a country music duo, and Austin Fire, a Rice Lake band that blends country rock and pop, also will perform on Sunday.
“We hope that attendees walk away from being able to see a large act in a wonderful, small, intimate venue,” Burg said, “and are essentially wowed by that and what we’re able to bring to the community in this new park.”
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