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Gospel festival to take place in August

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By Michele Roberts

Calling all churches and nonprofit community organizations – you are invited to participate in the first Lancaster Community Gospel-Fest, a two-day festival set to take place Aug. 9 and 10 at the Hope on the Hill facilities, located at 610 Old Barr St. in Lancaster.

The Gospel-Fest Event promotion manager and founder, Ollie Alexander, has organized several expos and events in the past.
The focus of this festival is unity and the strengthening of local families and the community as a whole, she said.

“The events at this festival are geared toward fellowship and wholesome activities that will connect and strengthen family and community,” Alexander said.

“Inside and outside activities will be held throughout the day on the grounds, in the auditorium, gymnasium and softball field. Those who attend the festival can expect a great two days of singing, praise and worship teams, key speakers, all-star basketball games, vendors, youth and children’s entertainment and activities, a health fair, a classic car showcase and missions outreach,” she said.

Alexander said about 18 churches are participating through the church league that was established for Hope on the Hill and she is encouraging churches in and outside of the immediate Lancaster area to join in.

“Right now we’re formulating teams for different age groups for the All-Star basketball games,” she said. “We’re also so excited to be recruiting for our Youth Talent and Fashion Showcase, called ‘TNG’, short for The Next Generation. We have a bracket for 13- to 19-year-old participants, as well as a young adult category that includes anyone 20 to 34 years old. We certainly welcome anyone who is interested in either one of these events, even if they are outside of the immediate Lancaster area.”

A “Kid’s World” area will be set up on the softball field and the younger attendees can enjoy rides, along with vendors and stage entertainment as well.

With area children in mind, Alexander said there will also be a community partnership “Back 2 School Supply Drive” during the festival and said she hopes that other organizations will see the benefit in working together for that cause.

“Local businesses get hit really hard for these school supply drives, and it just makes sense to maximize the effort by working together,” she added. “We are not trying to take anything away from any group’s identity by offering this. This festival is simply an umbrella to bring in different groups to do what they are already doing anyway, and have it all in one place.”

Alexander said the event will be similar in effect to the annual Red Rose Festival held in Lancaster, and that organizers of that event are helping out with this one as well.

Vendors locally are already booking 10-by-10 spaces at the event for food and marketplace items such as clothing and jewelry.

Some choirs have already signed up to sing, along with praise and worship teams.

Alexander said across the board the response to the event has been good so far.

“We still want to get as many people involved as would like to be there,” she said. “I just see this as a fantastic opportunity for many different organizations to get together in one place and have their own space and give the public a great time.”

The deadline for vendor registration is July 22 and entertainment registration ends July 15.

For  more information, contact Alexander at (803) 741-6401 or send an email to lcgospelfest@yahoo.com.