Tuesday, 25 July 2017 07:00

The Willow Creek Gospel Music Jamboree is celebrating 20 years

Written by  Demi Knight
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The tent at the Grandview Recreation Park in Granum, ready for a weekend of gospel celebrations and musical events. The tent at the Grandview Recreation Park in Granum, ready for a weekend of gospel celebrations and musical events. Photo courtesy Willow Creek Gospel Music Jamboree

The Willow Creek Gospel Music Jamboree is celebrating its 20th year of keeping the gospel in the jamboree this July. The event takes place July 28-30 in Granum.

Fran Hanson, former chairman and now secretary of the Willow Creek Gospel Jamboree committee,  says this year will be a little bigger than the others to celebrate the 20th anniversary.
“We’ve got a few more entertainers this year,” she says. “We usually have around four or five, but this time we have six. An exciting one this year is a quartet from the States called the Liberty Quartet and they’re quite popular.”
The concert is celebrating a theme this year for the 20th anniversary of ‘Drawing closer to Jesus’ with many festivities in the lineup such as concerts, services and camps throughout the weekend.
This year, the event will kick off on Friday with an opening concert featuring local entertainers as well as the new addition of the international quartet such as the Daae Family, Joyful Melody Trio and the Gripping family. With the festivities kicking off at 7 p.m., participants can enjoy an evening of soulful music as well as a chili supper.
“The event brings out a lot of people out. It brings people from different denominations for a weekend of celebrations for Christians from all over,” says Hanson of the festivities, highlighting the impact it has, not just on the attendees, but also on the community as well.
“It fills the campground up, and people start to fill up with gas in town as well as use all the local businesses around town, so it’s great for the town in that way. We make more that weekend than any other throughout the year.”
Saturday however, is when the music will get into full swing, with three concerts scattered throughout the day as well as food breaks and an all-day open concession. Another feature added to this year’s event on Saturday is the vacation Bible school at the Homesteader. This school is open to children ages six to 12, all day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“There’s a vacation Bible school for kids this year to enjoy music and crafts and story times, that runs all throughout the day,” says Hanson of the event that serves to keep children as entertained as the adults throughout the weekend.
The event winds down on Sunday with a morning service at Granum Christian Reform Church and a complimentary pancake breakfast.
The Willow Creek Gospel Jamboree committee has been enriching the town of Granum for 20 years with its soulful music, growing each year to become bigger and better than ever. With the participant count up to around 800 in the past few years, the festivities keep on delighting.
Hanson points out it wasn’t always this successful, and it wasn’t until they waived the entrance fee to make it donation based that the event really took off.
“Some of us got together and planned the first one and it was much smaller back then, but it’s gotten bigger over the years. For the first few years, we charged an entrance fee and then we decided not to, and since then the event has really taken off and we make more in donations now than before.”
The committee works with sponsorship and donations thanks to many different companies such as The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Bible League Canada and AM1140.
The Gospel Music Jamboree event is happening at the Granum Grandview Recreation Park once again this year, with admission by donations.
More information about the event and full schedules can be found at: www.gospelmusicjamboree.com.

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