SON LIGHT FEST
Three years ago Armen Woosley of La Grande had a dream in which he saw a large crowd of people singing and praising the Lord with Mount Emily in the background.
After talking to pastors and assembling a group of supporters, Woosley's dream of seeing several Christian bands, artists and craftspeople come together at the Union County Fairgrounds became a reality on a Friday night and Saturday last August.
About 1,000 people attended the first Son Light Fest Aug. 16-17. The crowd, Woosley said, was "well beyond what we expected."
With that response, he and his team of about a half-dozen people are planning the second annual Son Light Fest next weekend at the fairgrounds.
The festival, from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, will feature music, dance, hand-made crafts, art work and food booths.
The public is invited to attend the event at no charge.
To fund Son Light Fest, musicians, artisans and food providers are being asked to pay a $10 registration fee. Area businesses and individuals also are contributing funds for the event.
Son Light Fest musical offerings will appeal to a variety of tastes.
The fairgrounds' main stage will feature youth bands with a contemporary Christian rock sound.
The small stage set up in the 4-H Building will offer a softer, easy-listening sound.
"The two venues worked out perfectly last year," Woosley said. "There were some people who performed on both stages by changing their formats slightly."
Youth bands will include Crosswired and Again United.
The Harvest Rock Church band from Ontario will perform as will Soul Renovation, a Christian country group from Enterprise that "was well received last year," Woosley said.
John Clement and his bluegrass band, Mountain Cross, from Baker City will also be on stage.
Other groups include Ezra's Heart, an all-girls band from Damascus Roads Ministries in La Grande, and Nazarite, which features Sid and Polly Smith of Cottage Group.
Soloists include Steve Bump and Shawn Hayes.
Woosley said because some Christians prefer to sing the old hymns of the faith, Kay Slippy of Grande Ronde Community Church will lead a hymn sing at 8 both nights on the small stage.
For those wanting something to eat or drink, Damascus Roads Ministries will provide corn dogs, sausages, sandwiches, soda pop and coffee. An espresso wagon from Ontario also will be in place.
Woosley said 26 musical acts were featured last year on the two stages.
Son Light Fest 2002 also included a puppet-maker, a professional water color artist and photographs.
Woosley said some of the details of who will be participating next weekend are still coming together.
"Right now it's a waiting game to see what happens," he said.
Woosley said regardless of who participates, he is convinced that the festival will be God's doing.
"I've got to give all the glory to God. It was his idea and He brought it to fruition. He will send the people whom He wants to be there."
Woosley said last year's festival was something he felt called to do.
"I had no expertise in doing this. I had no money and did not expect to get anything out of it," he said.
"I was a set of legs and a mouth. He (God) did all of the rest of it."