Churches come together for music event

Published 10:36 am Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In an attempt to raise money to serve the community this summer, at least 14 area churches are sponsoring a family fun night and kids’ carnival on Friday at Crossroads Evangelical Free Church.

The event, which is an official ShineFest activity for people of all ages, will offer the chance to listen to live music, to eat food and to participate in other activities.

ShineFest volunteer Mark Whillock said this is the second year for the family fun night and carnival. Last year’s event allowed the churches to raise enough money to sponsor several different giveaways and projects throughout the summer.

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The event goes from 6 to 9 p.m.

The first band will start playing at 6:30 p.m., Whillock said. Seven different groups from the community will perform.

There will also be a live auction, which will include airplane rides, drum lessons and other unique items that will start at 6:45 p.m., he said. A silent auction will go throughout the evening.

The event is free, but people can purchase $5 punch cards for food and the kids carnival.

Whillock said several churches are sponsoring food booths, including food items such as pizza, walking tacos, nachos and hot dogs. Cold Stone Creamery is also donating ice cream.

There will be childcare for people with younger children who would like to come to the event, and for children in first grade through sixth grade, there will be activities such as inflatable jumpers and other games with area youth.

What: Shinefest Family Fun Night and Kids Carnival

Where: Crossroads Evangelical Free Church, 3402 Hoeger Lane, Albert Lea

When: From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday

The kids carnival costs $5, which includes a meal.

“One important reason we’re doing this is to raise money so we can do free oil changes for people throughout the summer, gas giveaways, grocery giveaways and water bottle giveaways,” Whillock said.

ShineFest began about four years ago as a platform for volunteers in the local faith community. It started out with school projects but has since expanded to include lake cleanups, a blood drives, food and clothes drives, oil changes and even a ShineFest family store.

Events have also expanded outside of Albert Lea to other communities in Freeborn County such as Clarks Grove and Hollandale.