Entries to Gospel Songfest being limited to 25 this year

Fall Festival event now in its 28th year; deadline to enter is Sept. 10

From Staff Reports

August 28, 2008 - Fans hungry for a taste of Christian music will get their fill during the Hopkins County Fall Festival, which runs Sept. 13-20.

First up is the Wesley United Methodist Church Praise & Worship Band, which performs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, on the Coca-Cola Sound Stage, located between the Civic Center and Chamber of Commerce offices. Cross, a Christian band, will also be performing from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, on the sound stage.

But the big event, and one that is now a Fall Fest tradition, is the Gospel SongFest. This year will mark the 28th year the Christian music event will be held in conjunction with the annual fair.

The Gospel SongFest debuted at the the Fall Festival in 1980 with only one act, Psalm 100 Band, performing on a flatbed trailer. Since then, the annual concert has grown to include as many as 40 acts performing in the Civic Center auditorium. The current format features quite a few area youths, some as young as 5 years, and both local and out-of-area talents.

"We have been asked many times about the quality of the performers at the Gospel SongFest, and I'll tell you that I am amazed," gushes Ina Gore, Fall Fest Board president and co-organizer of the annual SongFest. "Many of these people could perform on stage with the best of them. When you have that many people go across the stage in one afternoon without any rehearsals, you don't expect each one to be perfect, but what you do know is they are doing something they really love. And somehow it all blends in to make a great afternoon of quality gospel singing."

The 28th Annual Gospel SongFest begins at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, and will continue until about 6 p.m., perhaps as late as 7 p.m. A donation of $4 is asked from senior citizens and a general donation of $5 for others.

Soloists will perform one song and groups two. What time slot they appear in will depend largely on when they registered.

Gore said there's still room for more singers interested in lifting their voices to Christian music. While registration is open to all through Sept. 10, those thinking of participating are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

"Due to the time element and the production costs, we are limiting the number of entries to no more than 25 this year, so register early to get your name on the list," Gore said.

To register, call Ina or Buddy Gore at 903-885-4262, send them an e-mail at igore1@verizon.net or go to the fall festival website, wwww.hopkinscountyfallfestival.com. The website also has information on other upcoming events.

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