This Saturday, 14 churches, several local employers, business and nonprofits will be taking part in a new family festival at the Huntingburg City Park.
Earlier this year, inspired by the many local festivals, Maria Lopez, the pastor of Iglesia Nueva Vida in Jasper, decided she would like to create a festival celebrating faith and family in the community.
“Our main purpose for this event is to spread the Gospel by providing a day of service to the community with the churches coming together, regardless of the denomination,” Maria explained.
All different denominations will be represented at the festival. “We really want people to know that Jesus is their savior,” Maria’s daughter, Josseline Carr, explained. “We aren’t telling you that you have to join a specific denomination, but we want to let people know about the Gospel.”
Along with praying for the region and the people living here, Maria and the other churches and congregations involved are coming together to provide a great time with motivational speakers, fun inflatables for children, clowns, face-painting, balloons, games, food and live music with the hopes of spreading the Gospel message.
In addition to the fun activities and speakers, a special praying booth will be provided for people to receive prayers from the attending church ministers and volunteers to help foster hope and inspiration for anyone. Each church involved in the event will have volunteer times for the praying booth; no denomination will be exclusively featured.
There will be worship, inspirational messages from different churches and raffles as well.
Several local employers will also be at the event providing help with job searches and volunteers will also be available to help potential job-seekers with preparing resumes and other job-searching skills.
Organizations like Girls on the Run, Crisis Connection, Freedom Reins and other local nonprofits have also stepped up to be part of the event.
The event is completely free except for food sales. Food available includes wings, curly fries, pork chops, tortas, tacos, papusas, hot dogs, sopes, gorditas, pambazos, hamburgers, walking tacos, nachos and hortchatas.
What was initially imagined as a small event, grew to include the other churches as Maria and her daughters began developing the idea. “Originally, we didn’t start this to be so big,” Josseline explained. “It was just an idea to do something fun for the community that provided a positive message.”
But as Maria and the others reached out to other churches to see if they wanted to take part in the event, they jumped on board after they understood the goal of the Gospel-centered family festival. As more churches joined, the event got bigger.
Then several companies were invited to help with a job fair. Kimball International, Farbest, Indiana Furniture, Jasper Group and others joined to conduct a job fair and help sponsor the event as well.
The churches involved include Iglesia Nueva Vida (New Life Church), Divino Salvador from Indianapolis, Taller del Alfadero for Evansville, Shiloh United Methodist Church, River of Life, Victory Temple, Principe de Paz from Springfield, Ill., Rios de Agua Viva from Columbus, Huntingburg United Methodist Church, Grace Tabernacle, Jasper Presbyterian Church, Nueva Vision, Dale Church of the Nazarene, Exodus Worship and Rey Jesus.
The festival kicks off at 12 p.m. in the park with opening remarks from Mayor Denny Spinner. The fun continues all day until 10 p.m.