BY ERIN FAWCETT
The second Praise in the Park event is set to take place in Red Deer this coming weekend.
Praise in the Park is a free, non-denominational event and it will take place on July 3rd from 3-8 p.m. at Bower Ponds.
“Praise in the Park is a one-day praise and worship event. Everyone is welcome and our goal is to unite the believers in Christ in Red Deer and to reach out to people who might not know Jesus – to experience Him in a very powerful way,” said Susan Sampson, lead organizer with Praise in the Park. “This is our second event and we are really hoping to make it an annual event. We really weren’t sure last year if it would be a one time thing or if we would turn it into an annual event. But our committee met and after lots of prayer we decided this is what the Lord wants for Red Deer and we decided to continue on. It is our hope and dream to make it an annual event.”
The CrossRoads Kids Worship team will kick the day off at 3 p.m. Jon Bauer will then perform, followed by Embraced, the City-wide worship team. Fraser Campbell will then take the stage and the event will round out with a performance by Dan Bremnes.
One new highlight of this year’s event is the addition of a prayer tent.
“It’s something that we want to offer. If people want prayer or need prayer or just to pray with someone for anything, we will have a prayer team available. We are really excited to add that this year.”
Last year, Sampson said she estimates about 2,000 people attended the event.
“We’re really hoping we’ll have at least as many people this year and with the word spreading a little bit from last year, potentially we could have more,” she said. “We hope to fill the park and we hope to fill the grounds with people that are just enjoying the day and praising Jesus and lifting His name high in the heart of Red Deer.
“We encourage people to come because it is such a unique event and one of the great things about this event that I love so much is that is appeals to an audience right from one or two-years-old, all the way up to the 95-year-old seniors who were coming and bringing a lawn chair and enjoying the day.
“Bower Ponds is a great location, for one it’s such a beautiful setting, but there is also just people there naturally that just happen upon Praise in the Park not expecting to know it’s going on and they can enjoy the event as well,” she added. “We do encourage people to bring some kind of food and drink for the afternoon because it does go over the supper hour. We will have some food options on site, but it’s good for people to be prepared.”
Parking is not available on site but organizers have arranged for alternate parking and some transportation to the site instead.
Sampson said parking will be available in the parking lot which is located west of Carnival Cinemas. Patrons can then walk a short distance over the bridge to the Bower Ponds area. There will also be golf carts which seat six that will be going between the parking lot and Bower Ponds for those who need extra assistance.
“We have turned the parking lot, not closest to the Cronquist House, but the second parking lot, into complete handicapped parking and whoever has a handicapped placard can come there,” said Sampson.
The event runs rain or shine.