One of the biggest names in Christian rock music, DecembeRadio, will headline a free concert July 19 as part of Youth Night to kick off the week-long event. DecembeRadio’s self-titled 2006 debut album was nominated for “Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album” at the 49th Grammy Awards and won the 2007 Dove Award for Rock Album of the Year. The New River Valley-based band’s second single, “Drifter,” peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart that year. More recently, DecembeRadio climbed back to #5 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart in April of 2008 with the single “Find You Waiting.” The band’s latest album “Satisfied” reached #3 on the Top Christian Album charts in 2008.
“We are excited and we want everyone to come,” Event Coordinator Robin Pack said. “We did a lot of fundraising and asked for a lot of donations. A lot of people in the community, individuals and churches have all gone in together to make this happen. Several different churches from several different denominations have come together for this and that is what is so great about it. It is all for the same purpose.”
Youth Night will begin at 4 p.m. on July 19 with four local bands. Youth Pastor/Comedian Rev. Rage will entertain the crowd in between bands. DecembeRadio is set to take the stage at 7 p.m. Local Christian music station SpiritFM (90.3 FM) will be broadcasting from Felts Park that evening.
“Spirit FM is sponsoring the concert. They called us when they found out Decemberadio would be there and they will be there broadcasting live,” Pack said. “They want to be on stage before the concert and they are doing advertisements on the air for free. They have been a great radio partner.”
Concessions will be available during Youth Night, which kicks off the week-long Praisin’ In the Park Bible School, which will run from July 20-23 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. each night. Pack said the Praisin’ In the Park Bible School began last year through a group of churches with the same vision, to get as many youth involved in Bible School as possible.
“Last year was our first year and we wanted to do a community Bible School. A lot of small churches would use their resources, but we couldn’t always get a lot of kids to come,” Pack said. “We thought if we did it in Felts Park, which is centrally located and where kids are familiar with it, it wouldn’t prohibit it them from coming.”
Pack said last year’s Praisin’ in the Park was a success as approximately 275 kids attended throughout the week, in addition to over 100 volunteers. Folks of all ages are invited to attend Youth Night on Sunday, while the Bible School event is geared toward rising students in kindergarten to the sixth grade. Preschoolers may attend as well as long as they have a parent with them. Older students or anyone affiliated with a church is invited to help out. Praisin’ in the Park will be a circus-themed event with four tents decorated in different fashions. Kids are invited to come explore the Bible through a circus of events.
“Each will be decorated and each participant will be able to go through each tent at least once during the week. There will be lot of stories and recreation. We will have dances, 10-foot soccer goals and balls, and we will have bands helping with praise and worship,” Pack said. “It is a circus theme so we will have clowns and balloons, popcorn and snow cones, and things like that. We are trying to get some animals.”
Food will be available for free to Bible School participants. More information and pictures from last year’s event can be found online at www.praisinpark.com. Pack said event organizers hope the event will continue to grow with each year.
“We hope to be able to raise more money on a regular basis. Our budget this year was about $13,000 to $14,000. In the future if we can get more renowned bands and comedians, we hope it will grow. That way kids that aren’t involved in church or don’t have a chance to go to Resurrection or events like that will be able to come,” Pack said. “We had one anonymous donor that gave us $8,000. He said he had the vision a long time ago that Felts Park would be great place for a youth revival.”