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Friend Fest 2013: Close to 2,000 attend weekend’s performances

June 29, 2013

Christian music fans Beth McCracken and Irenia Rimsky enjoy the WFRN Friend Fest on Friday, June 21. Organizers said about 2,000 people were on hand for the two-day event in Nappanee.

NAPPANEE — The two-day WFRN Friend Fest was the place to be in north-central Indiana over the weekend.
The main focus of the show was, of course, the music, and about 2,000 people turned out to listen to contemporary Christian artists, including Big Daddy Weave and Saturday’s headliner, TobyMac.
Beth McCracken and Irenia Rimsky were excited about Christian acts Carrollton and the Rhett Walker Band.
However, both women came to the festival to see “TobyMac and Big Daddy Weave,” they said, but wanted to watch all of the acts.
Along with TobyMac, there were 21 other performers.
Amid Friday’s and Saturday’s high humidity, many fans did their best to stay cool while listening to the performers.  
The weather was sweltering in the beginning of the day Friday. But even with some brief rain showers, the shows continued.
A group of four was playing a card game to pass time while waiting for For King and Country to arrive after Rhett Walker Band left the stage.
Not all of the fans got to enjoy the concert right away.
Event volunteers like Karen Bloomer had to put in some work hours before they could enjoy the show as fans.
Bloomer said she had to “work one six-hour shift and then (could) watch” the performances. 
However, volunteers were a big part of making the festival a success.
The large, white tents contained many organizations that came to sell items to the visitors.
Bethel and Grace college sold raffle tickets. Bethel students sold over 5,000 tickets to those who wished to play one of their games, according to an announcement made during the show. 
Festival food was affordable, and people could carry in coolers so they could bring in their own snacks and drinks.
Parking spaces were plentiful, and in some spots near the gate entrances were free. To get into the show, it did not break anybody’s pocket. The cheap tickets helped many people get to come to the festival. 
Organizers estimated there were at least 2,000 fans throughout both days.

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