More than 60,000 fans enjoy 'Alive Festival' at Atwood Lake Park

July 19, 2010

On the heels of a highly successful first year of the “Alive Festival” at Atwood Lake Park, visitors and organizers alike are looking forward to the event in the park in 2011 and beyond.


“We are so excited and so honored that so many people took the time to spend the week with us at ‘Alive 10’ at Atwood Lake Park and told us how much they enjoy the campgrounds, the lake and all there is to do in the region,” said Bill Graening, Alive Festival director. “Even the entertainers took time out of their schedules to inform us how much they enjoyed performing before the large crowds at this beautiful location.


“Atwood Lake Park will be the destination for ‘Alive’ for many years to come, and all of us are excited about the possibilities.”


Crowds estimated at around or more than 15,000 daily attended the four-day contemporary Christian music festival held June 23-26 at Atwood Lake Park. The park hosted the festival, which will be in its 24th year in 2011, for the first time this year. It is believed that the Alive Festival attracts the highest attendance for any scheduled tourism event in Carroll and Tuscarawas counties.


“The park hosted thousands of people who were camping or visiting the Alive Festival and we had very few issues thanks to the cooperation of local authorities and safety crews, and especially the campers and visitors themselves,” said Tony Luther, recreation coordinator for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD), who coordinated the event for the MWCD. The MWCD operates Atwood Lake Park.


Luther said more than 6,000 people spent a portion of the festival camping inside the park, and the large crowds attending the evening entertainment prompted the park to arrange for off-site parking and shuttle service for the final two days of the festival.


The festival featured nationally renowned entertainment including Toby Mac, Chris Tomlin, Skillet, Steven Curtis Chapman and many others, and offered speakers, seminars and more at stages, tents and stations offered in various areas of the park.


“The staffs of the Alive Festival and Atwood Lake Park worked well together and the crowds were patient and very busy with the scheduled activities, events and entertainment, as well as visiting the park’s beach, the lake and many others took time to visit attractions in the region,” said Aaron Stump, Atwood Lake Park manager.


Staff members and volunteers from the Carroll County and Tuscarawas County convention and visitors bureau offices operated a visitors information center at the festival to showcase the area’s destinations and events to festival attendees, who traveled to the event from throughout the United States and Canada.


“Of course, for many of these people it was the first time they ever have visited our county,” said Amy Rutledge, executive director of the Carroll County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This was an excellent way to showcase the area and provide details about other attractions and events that may lead them to return again before the Alive Festival next year.”


Dee Grossman, executive director of the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the economic benefits to the region from the festival should grow in the future.


“Not only will there be future Alive events at Atwood Lake Park, but as people plan to come again some other time, they will be spending the night, visiting attractions, buying food, gas and souvenirs,” she said. “The Alive Festival is a wonderful event for the region and an opportunity to boost the area’s economy from tourism.”


The main stage entertainment for the event was held in a secluded 7-acre natural grass amphitheater inside the park. The area included development of a large stage area for a 40-by-70-foot temporary stage, roof and structure for the two giant 15-by-20-foot video walls.


Fan photos from this year’s festival have been posted on the Alive website at Tickets for Alive 2011, scheduled June 22-25, 2011, are expected to go on sale in August and can be purchased through the Alive website.


“I talked with many people who said they are looking forward to bringing their families back to Atwood Lake Park again and again for the Alive Festival,” Graening said. “We are eager and already have begun the planning to make Alive 2011 another memorable experience.”


The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Basin, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the reservoirs (including Atwood Lake) and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $7 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government.


For more information about the MWCD, visit


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