Festival is today in Shelton Park

The first anniversary of a park named for a slain Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer will be marked today with a festival aimed at helping expand the facility.

The festival is scheduled 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial Park, off N.C. 24/27 in the western Stanly County town of Locust.

A prime organizer of today's event is Shelton's widow, Jennifer, who also helped raise money to have the park built in her husband's memory.

Jennifer Shelton said she hopes today's event will raise enough money to build a dog park and amphitheater at the facility, which cost $1 million to build and was financed by donations.

“I come to this park just about every day, actually,” Jennifer Shelton told NewsChannel 36, the Observer's news partner. “It is just a peaceful place for me, with the waterfall.”

“You can feel his spirit here,” she said of her husband.

Officers Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark were shot and killed April 1, 2007, after answering a call in northeast Charlotte. Demetrious Montgomery has been charged in their deaths and is awaiting trial.

Today's event will include a three-on-three basketball tournament, a pet pageant, live bands, a silent auction, and inflatable toys for children.

A number of professional sports mascot figures will make an appearance, and new Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Rodney Monroe has told organizers he hopes to attend.

NewsChannel 36 contributed.