CityFest – Recap

I wanted to post on this yesterday – but it’s amazing how destroyed a home can become even when you are barely in it… I spent most of yesterday picking up from the weekend. But now I can post some on our time at CityFest*.

(This recap is mainly so I don’t forget the experience — so please excuse the poor writing quality. And the overuse of the words “amazing” and “really” and “totally”…)

First of all — it was amazing! If you ever get to go to a Luis Palau festival: DO IT!

We had gorgeous weather, cool breezes and such an easy time getting in and out of the festival. Walking over the pedestrian bridge, I got a view of part of the festival on the riverfront (where the extreme sports were being held) and immediately teared up. Just seeing all of those people in one place to hear about the Lord – I always get choked up on that!

Saturday, just the kids and I went downtown. We walked around to get acclimated and decide what to start with.

The Kid’s Zone had lots and lots of bouncy things for the kids to get rid of some energy so that they’d rest while I listened to the performers. They were able to paint on a mural that was hung on the wall – I love all of the “Jesus Rocks” “Jesus Lives” comments painted all over it.

My kids looked like the best of friends while waiting in line for their turn… (actually, they are – but it still cracks me up to see them like this and then know they can turn around and start tattling and picking and annoying the tar out of each other…)

They really wanted to see Bob and Larry, but we missed them… Sunday they were able to snuggle Larry Boy. They got such a giggle out of the fact that he had arms and legs.

The music was amazing. We stayed for the first two performers: El Trio de Hoy and Ty Tribbett. OH MAN! I don’t know what either one sounds like on their albums – but live — they were completely dance-inducing! The singing! and the dancing! and the praising!! Their testimonies… (I came home trying to describe it to Sean and sounded as blubbering as I do now – it is just so hard to find the words for such an experience…)

One of the most God-glorifying aspects of the day was seeing people of all skin colors lifting their arms in praise towards Heaven. And it was like the breeze blowing, was actually the Spirit of the Lord moving around the crowd.

I really wanted to stay and hear TobyMac — but he was the last performer of the night and the kids were filthy and needed a good nights rest before church. We were all sticky from frosted lemonades and juice and numerous other sugar-filled, sugar-coated, sugar-y things…

Sunday, all of us headed downtown and headed to the Kid’s Zone first. The kids got their faces painted and were able to play around a bit before we headed to the main stage for the concerts. BarlowGirl and Jeremy Camp were in the first set.

BarlowGirl sounded nothing like I expected. I had never listened to them, because I thought they were like the pop-styled bands of the late 90’s. SO WRONG! Their sound is really rockin’ and I really like their lyrics – they really focus on purity and not dating and the Lord’s will.  (that was a lot of “really’s”) Totally something I want Abbie listening to and absorbing. (Perfect example – read the lyrics for Average Girl here.)

Luis Palau spoke in between the first two music sets. He didn’t hold back – didn’t sugar coat the Truth…

We went to Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner before heading back to listen to Israel and the New Breed. This picture is from their performance. The lights and sound! At one point they asked us to close our eyes while they were singing. I told Sean later that it felt like a glimpse of my arrival to Heaven – the lights were blinking through my closed eyes and their singing was growing from soft to high intensity. Again – the dancing! and the singing! and the praising!!

I know I overuse the word – but it was all just amazing. And refreshing – like when you are thirsty and finally get that large ice cold glass of clean water to drink…

For a well written recap and photos of the weekend, that doesn’t contain a ton of repetitive rambling, you can read about it here*. (be sure to scroll down to read “Festival Report”) – **they are estimating 90,000 people attended!

*link no longer works


  1. http://Mary%20C says

    That does sound amazing! So glad you all had such a great time. The kids look adorable- I love little girls with short hair-too cute!

  2. http://Susanne says

    Wow, I’ve seen these on t.v. and you got to go to one live? What a blessing!

  3. http://Beck says

    That sounds like the most wonderful time! NINETY THOUSAND PEOPLE?! WOW!

  4. http://The%20Flip%20Flop%20Mamma! says

    Wow, there were some great bands there! I can’t believe you hadn’t given Barlow Girl a listen! We really like their cd, my hubby has it. Sounds like a blast!

  5. http://Barb says

    Wow, Karla. This really is totally amazing. Sorry – I’m not making fun of you – I really mean it. I never heard of this festival.

    What a wonderful event! And your photographs are great. It was almost as good as being there. It would help if I could hear all the music but I can tell just from what you’ve written, this was a truly beautiful experience.

  6. http://Terri%20@%20In%20His%20Hands says

    Wah! I want to go! That sounds like such an amazing festival, so glad you got to experience it (and blog about it!).

    Love the pictures!

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