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GraceFest comes to Santa Clarita

Posted: May 31, 2014 10:11 p.m.
Updated: May 31, 2014 10:11 p.m.

Local band Jim Gustin & Truth Jones performs on stage at GraceFest SCV held at Central Park in Saugus on Saturday. Kid's Charities of the Santa Clarita Valley hosted the inaugural fundraising event.

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Thousands of people turned out and rocked out Saturday for GraceFest SCV — a music and message festival held throughout the day at Central Park in Santa Clarita.

This year marked the first GraceFest event locally, with the goal being to provide a community and unity event for people of faith in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“It’s not about one church; it’s about one valley worshipping our God,” said Gen Knoles, volunteer coordinator for the event.

Knoles estimated roughly 3,000 to 4,000 people would come to Central Park to enjoy fellowship and music throughout the course of day.

“I felt like this was something that’s been on my heart for a long time — bringing a Christian music festival to Santa Clarita,” said Barry McKeever, the event’s director. “And we had other people who had the same dream. And we’ve been working on it for about two years, and it’s finally here.”

Hundreds of people were already on hand a few hours into the event — lounging in lawn chairs, sprawling on blankets or seeking refuge under umbrellas as they listened to some faith-based tunes from a collection of bands and groups.

The event’s lineup included Christian rapper Manafest and the group Building 429.

“It’s a day where we can bring our families out and have great family entertainment and family camaraderie,” McKeever said.

McKeever said GraceFest SCV is a nonprofit charitable event put on by Kid’s Charities of the SCV, with proceeds going to local organizations including the SCV Pregnancy Center, the Domestic Violence Center of the Santa Clarita Valley and Trinity Classical Academy.

“All the profits that are left over from the event go to those organizations,” he said. “And if, God willing, we keep doing this year in and year out, we’ll be able to hopefully bless more organizations.”
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