Saturday, 21 July 2018

C Columns

Fireworks, Music and Messages: 52nd Annual God and Country Festival 2018

By  Naomi  Hardenbrook  and  Sandy  Jones

 

For  the  past  51  years,  the  God  and  Country  Festival  has  brought  entertainment,  fireworks  and,  most  importantly,  the  gospel  message  to  the  Treasure  Valley.

Speakers  and  acts  in  the  past  have  ranged  from  local  church  gospel  groups,  including  Idaho  State  Supreme  Court  Justice  Daniel  Eismann,  and  recording  artists  such  as  Phillips,Craig  and  Dean,  Mark  Schultz,  Point  of  Grace,  Needtobreathe,  The  Afters,  and  Idaho’s  own  Ryan  Stevenson.

A  non-denominational  event,  this  year’s  52nd  Annual  God  and  Country  Festival  will  again  be  held  at  the  Ford  Idaho  Center  in  Nampa.

Normally  held  the  Wednesday  before  the  Fourth  of  July,  this  year’s  festival  is  breaking with  tradition  and  will  be  held  on  Tuesday,  June  26.  Admission  is  free;  however,  the  FordIdaho  Center  does  charge  $5  to  park  (these  funds  go  for  lot  improvement  and  help  to  cover  the  cost  of  traffic  guidance  at  the  close  of  the  event).  Gates  open  at  4  p.m.  and  everyone  is  encouraged  to  come  early  for  best  seat  selection.

A  night  of  family-friendly  fun  —  including  the  Treasure  Valley’s  largest  fireworks  show,  military  appreciation,  civic  awards,  food  and  fellowship  —  it’s  a  great  time  to  invite  friends  and  neighbors  to  come  along.

This  year’s  featured  speaker  is  Nick  Vujicic,  an  evangelist  who  has  shared  his  message of  hope  to  over  6  million  people  in  63  countries.  He  shares  how  his  faith,  which  is  rooted  in  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  changed  his  life  forever,  and  connects  well  with  all  ages  but  especially  well  with  kids  and  teens.  Emphatic  about  the  war  on  bullying,  Nick  is  the  Founder,  President  and  CEO  of  Life  Without  Limbs,  a  nonprofit  organization  whose  mission  is  “to  cross  boundaries  and  break  down  barriers,  to  build  bridges  that  bring  people  to  the  love  and  hope  found  in  Jesus  Christ”  (from lifewithoutlimbs.org).

Christian  musical  group  Unspoken  joins  Nick  on  this  year’s  stage.  The  group's  hits  include  “Higher”  and  “Start  a  Fire.”  According  to  the  website  at unspokenmusic.com: “When  you  ask  the  guys  in  Unspoken  what  it  is  that  their  audiences  most  connect  with,  they’ll  bring  it  down  to  a  single  word.  It’s  a  word  that  doesn’t  have  much  to  do  with  the  unapologetically  soulful  pop  sound  they’ve  built  of  skilled  musicianship,  adventurous  production  and  complex  vocal  harmonies.  It’s  transparency.  'People  just  relate  better  to  somebody  who  has  been  broken  and  redeemed,'  Mike  Gomez  notes,  'than  to  someone  who  pretends  to  have  it  all  together.  What  we  say  from  the  stage  and  what  we  say  in  our  songs,  they’re  not  stories  from  somebody  we  heard  about.  Our  songs  are  written  out  of  places  we’ve  been  and  places  we are.”’

Plan  to  stay  to  the  end  of  the  festival  so  as  to  not  miss  this  year’s  fireworks  display,  which  is  produced  by  Fireworks  America  with  musical  accompaniment  played  over  the  radio  so  all  of  the  Treasure  Valley  can  enjoy  the  grand  finale  of  the  evening.

On  its  website  at godandcountryfestival.com, there  is  this  bit  of  history:  “The  God  and  Country  Festival  began  during  a  movement  organized  by  western  actor  Chuck  Connors  during  the  sixties  to  promote  our  country’s  founding  ideals  and  faith  in  God.  Nampa  held  its  first  rally  back  in  1967.  When  the  event  moved  to  the  Idaho  Center  in  2000,  the  name  was  changed  from  'God  and  Country  Rally'  to  'God  and  Country  Festival.'”

Be  sure  to  save  the  date  —  you  won’t  want  to  miss  this  fantastic  event!

Christian Living Magazine

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