East Ridge city officials gathered Tuesday morning at the Community Center to announce events scheduled in Camp Jordan for next year.
“It’s a great time to be in East Ridge,” said Stump Martin, Director of Parks & Recreation. “Our park gets tremendous support from the City Council, and I’m excited about what’s going to be happening at Camp Jordan next year.”
Martin told about two-dozen people, many who are in the hospitality business in the city, that Camp Jordan will play host to several new events this year, including a 7-on-7 high school national flag football event, the high school championships for ultimate frisbee, and an installation put on by Southeast Outdoors.
“The Southeast Outdoors is everything you can think of for outdoorsmen,” Martin said. “Everything you can imagine, hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, you name it. I think they are even going to install a zip line.
“It’s going to be a big event,” he continued. “And, I think it is really going to grow.”
Martin ran down a litany of long-standing events that the park has hosted. He said 41 baseball and softball tournaments have been scheduled this year, including an NSA World Series that is expected to draw more than 150 teams. He said four soccer tournaments. each with 100 teams will be hosted by Camp Jordan, as well as the Scenic City Cup, which has about 150 teams in it.
“This is going to bring in a whole lot of folks,” Martin said. “Every business person will tell you when there’s something going on in the park there is an increase in their business.”
Of course, Bug-a-Paluza is returning, along with the Shriners Circus. Both those events have been held in the park for years. But the park in the near future is going to look different.
Martin said a new playground for younger children is virtually complete. The PlayCore/GameTime prototype playground was acquired by the city at a deep discount, as the new installation is being used by the manufacturer in some of its promotional materials.
The city has acquired a $100,000 matching grant from the state that will be used to install tennis courts, a competition outdoor basketball court, a small walking track and a dog park.
In addition, the city negotiated for the developers of Bass Pro Shops to install a new pavilion, restrooms and a bathhouse in the park. In return, the city allowed the developers to excavate fill dirt to be used in their Exit 1 project.
City Manager Andrew Hyatt said Camp Jordan is the city’s “diamond in the rough.” The city budgets more than $1 million a year to run the park and Camp Jordan Arena.
“A lot of people might not know much about East Ridge, but they know about Camp Jordan,” Hyatt said. “Our park is a big deal. We’ve set the bar pretty high, and we have big plans.”
Martin said Camp Jordan Jams will be back with two concerts scheduled for the spring and another for July 4th. Two more concerts are slated for next fall, he said.
Martin said the big “egg drop” event held last Easter is returning to Camp Jordan, too. He said that event alone brought 10,000 people to East Ridge. This coming year, promoters of the event are expecting 15,000 to be drawn to the event.
The full schedule of events will be posted on the city’s Website in the future, officials said.