28th Gospel SongFest rescheduled for Oct. 25 at Trinity Harvest Church

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Oct. 8, 2008 - A 28-year tradition may have been temporarily halted last month, but not even threats of a hurricane winds and rain are enough to stop the 28th Annual Hopkins County Gospel SongFest.

Those who would have attended the event in September, and quite a few of those who were slated to perform, let Fall Festival organizers know their sincere desire to see the annual gospel show continue this year, albeit a little over a month later than originally planned.

"We had so many calls asking, 'When are you going to reschedule? We can't have a year without a SongFest,'" said said Ina Gore, 2008 Fall Festival Board President and longtime coordinator of the annual Gospel SongFest. "We've even had singers and musicians call so say, 'Please, reschedule.'"

With such overwhelming public support, organizers of the annual gospel concert felt compelled to reschedule the event. But when they first started looking at dates, it appeared destined not to happen after all -- their usual venue, the Civic Center, was booked solid for several months in advance.

"We were not able to reschedule it at the Civic Center because it's full for October and November, with only one date available, and we couldn't do that date," said Gore.

A word in the right ear, however, and the problem was solved. Upon learning they needed a place to host the 28th Annual Hopkins County Gospel SongFest, Trinity Harvest Church was offered up as a host site.

The generous use of the church's "beautiful building" with its large stage and plenty of parking space was truly a blessing. Not only are event organizers not out the usual cost for facilities, equipment use and staff fees charged by the Civic Center, they can pass along the savings to those attending the event, as well.

Trinity Harvest is also cooking up stew to offer those attending the gospel songfest. All that's asked is a donation to help with costs associated with putting on any event. Proceeds benefit Trinity Harvest's youth ministry.

Woodmen of the World has still agreed to be the major sponsor for the event, underwriting some of the costs such as for the sound system and operator.

The 28th Annual Gospel SongFest begins at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Trinity Harvest Church, 1150 East Shannon Road just west of the 126 exit on the south side of Interstate 30.

As always, the program's regular door prize sponsors will be offering items to be drawn during the Christian concert.

As for the entertainment, originally 25 gospel acts had confirmed in September to perform during the Songfest. Those who still would like to take part are asked to contact Ina or Buffy Gore at 903-885-4262 to confirm registration and participation. Also, there's still room for any other soloists, groups or praise teams interested in performing at the event. Churches are especially encouraged to register their praise teams to perform gospel tunes.

"We'd love to have their praise teams come. ... A lot of churches don't think of their praise team participating in that type of group activity. Trinity Harvest has a large stage, so there's room. It's a beautiful facility," Gore said.

The event usually lasts about three hours, offering an uplifting, wholesome activity suitable for the entire family. The actual run time always depends on the number of acts signed up to participate.

Door prizes such as a savings bond donated by Pilgrim Bank and some type of musical item from McKay Music will be awarded during the event as well.

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