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The annual Praisin’ in the Park community Bible school and Hallelujah Luau, a Christian youth rally, have joined forces this year for a five-day festival beginning on Saturday.
“We want to show that we’re unified,” said Jennifer Morris, coordinator of the event and organizer of Praisin’ in the Park. “We’re two events with one purpose — to spread the love of Jesus in the community. When you put your heads together, there are a lot of ideas you can share.”
The event will kickoff with Hallelujah Luau on Saturday in Felts Park from 1-9 p.m., with area churches coming together to provide food, entertainment and games — all free to the public. Activities will include bounce houses, face painting, tug of war, a donut-eating contest and more.
The Youth Explosion, with contemporary Christian band Common Ground, will begin at 6 p.m. and is geared toward teens.
Hallelujah Luau, now in its fifth year, brings in nearly 3,000 people each year.
“By coming together there are so many things we can share, as far as resources and even volunteers,” said Morris. “We all just want to reach people for Christ.”
This marks the fourth year for Praisin’ in the Park, which brings in about 225 different children each night.
Praisin’ in the Park will kick off Sunday from 6-8:30 p.m. in Felts Park. The community Bible school, sponsored and presented by several area churches, targets rising kindergartners through sixth graders and features music, food, Bible lessons, games, inflatables and live Christian music.
Students are provided with a free meal, participate in praise and worship time and learn lessons from the Bible.
This year’s Praisin’ in the Park is based around the medieval theme of “Truth Quest,” featuring knights and castles.
“Truth Quest” is inspired by the popular Christian book “Pilgrim’s Progress,” about two children in search of the truth, which they find out is Jesus.
Morris said volunteers have been working hard to write skits and make costumes and props for the event.
Morris said Praisin’ in the Park takes Bible school beyond the walls of a church and into the community. “When all these churches come together, we can do something bigger and reach out to more children.”
So many come together for this event, said Morris, noting the 100 volunteers of all ages it takes to put on Praisin’ in the Park.
• Parents can call 233-9277 or 233-2567 if children are in need of a ride to Praisin’ in the Park. A bus from First Baptist Church of Galax will pick up the children. For more information or to register, visit praisinpark.com or call the listed numbers.