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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.

Carrie Duren dances with brightly colored flags as hundreds of attendees listen to the music performed on stage at the inaugural GraceFest SCV fundraiser event held at Central Park on Saturday.

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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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Verdad: Posted: June 1, 2014 7:52 a.m.

I miss the days when people displayed their religion in their heart and not on stage.

CaptGene: Posted: June 1, 2014 8:02 a.m.

I feel the same way about the days when people kept their sexuality to themselves.

April4Him: Posted: June 1, 2014 8:24 a.m.

Fortunately, we live in the United States were no matter what your beliefs are, you have the right to express them openly. That's what our country was built on. It was also built on being one nation under God. I miss the day when people had pride in that, and acknowledged the freedom to say, and express that faith in our Creator. If you miss the days of sensorship, you miss a time when America was not even America yet. I am sure there are plenty of countries you could relocate to that would gladly accept you and then sensor your beliefs.

Verdad: Posted: June 2, 2014 10:03 p.m.

It's a giant leap from humility to sensorship. No one is suggesting this expression be sensored, just saved for the privacy of the home rather than in full view of the public square.

CaptGene: Posted: June 2, 2014 7:42 a.m.

What exactly is "sensorship"? Is it like a boat with a fish finder, or depth gauge?

Unreal: Posted: June 2, 2014 11:20 a.m.

Verdad: Leave it to someone to try to find something wrong with a wonderful family day where people can come together to have some fun and meet others who share a belief in GOD.

How do you exactly "display" your faith in your heart? What a weird thing to say. I grew up with songs like "Hide it under a bushel, NO, I'm gonna let it shine".

The next verse is perfect for people like you. "Don't you try to whoosh it out(sound of someone blowing out a candle), I'm gonna let it shine all the time let it shine".

You can have your own music festival for whiners, complainers, and those who just don't like anyone else having fun. Enjoy your day.

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