Sep 29, 2013

Nearly 2000 visitors enjoy Illumination with MercyMe

BY RYAN BERRY
MANAGING EDITOR
GREENVILLE – For the seventh year, the Darke County Fairgrounds was filled Contemporary Christian music fans for the Illumination Festival. Nearly 2,000 concert goers enjoyed the music and testimonies of MercyMe, Sanctus Real, Citizen Way, The Neverclaim and Everfound. The crowd was silenced as the Splat Experience began and all eyes were drawn to the canvas where a beautiful painting of Jesus was made in the time it took for a song to play. The artist used only his hands (no paint brushes) to create the work of art.

Although the concert is the main event for the weekend, activities are held throughout the day. Over 100 visitors enjoyed the church service on Sunday morning where New Creation opened with worship and Heath Javier shared his testimony of being abandoned by his parents and becoming an alcoholic while in high school. His life changed four years when he came to know Jesus Christ.

Throughout the afternoon, festival goers enjoyed the coffee house with local and regional bands, air soft, a bounce house and T.R.S.S. Drum Corps from Dayton.

Only in its second year, Day One continues to grow and doubled its attendance from the previous year. Billed as a kick-off for youth groups this fall, Day One is geared to middle/high school aged students. In addition to a worship service featuring the Amplified youth group, the event also hosted the Illumination 5K and a dance party with Josiah Freebourne, a nationally known Christian DJ. The 5K drew 112 runners in its inaugural year.

In an effort to give back to the community, Illumination has worked with FISH Choice Food Pantry to collect food for the food bank. Visitors are encouraged to give at Day One and as they enter the grounds for the main concert. This year, over 1,000 pounds of food was received.
The lead singer for Sanctus Real, Matt Hammitt, found his way to the upper deck of the Grandstand to sing in front of nearly 2000 Christian music lovers. (Ryan Berry photo)

The Splat Experience quieted concert goers when he began creating this masterpiece. 

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