Houston & Peach

Stretch of Byron highway named after music festival founders

Two men credited with spearheading a popular music festival now have a section of highway named after them.


A ceremony was held Friday morning on U.S. 41 in Byron to dedicate the Cooley-Conlon Parkway. Alex Cooley and Peter Conlon started Concert/Southern Promotions in 1982 and in 1994 created the Music Midtown Festival, which has drawn hundreds of thousands of fans to hear performers from across various genres of music.

State Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, was joined by other elected officials and family members of Cooley and Conlon for Friday's ceremony, according to a release.

Longtime rock 'n' rollers will remember the second Atlanta International Pop Festival, better known across Middle Georgia as the Byron Pop Festival, which hit Byron on the Fourth of July weekend in 1970. The "Woodstock of the South" drew an estimated 300,000 people. Among the acts were Jimi Hendrix, the Allman Brothers Band, Rare Earth and Grand Funk Railroad.

In 2012, a historical marker was put at the Middle Georgia Raceway, near where the concert was held.

Stanley Dunlap, 478-744-4623