Fired up for En Fuego

Published 9:22 pm Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tomorrow, thousands will descend upon Verbena to hear some of the biggest names in modern Christian music.

Coordinators expect this year’s crowds at En Fuego to once again top 20,000, and this year they are more prepared than ever to meet their needs.

About 475 volunteer T-shirts have been ordered, and that’s not including counselors and people who will be taking up the love offering. The number of trained counselors on site will be 100 easy.

“We’ve probably got twice the commitments we had this time last year,” En Fuego Board member Kevin George said.

Off-site parking will again be offered this year, and two charter buses and two church buses will shuttle crowds back and forth to their vehicles. Carpooling is still encouraged whenever possible, however.

“Last year, overflow parking enabled us to send a lot of traffic south. This relieved a lot of pressure,” George said. “Sheriff Kevin Davis did an awesome job last year. Even out in the rain he was out in the road directing traffic.”

This year, event coordinators met with state EMA officials to form a full-blown emergency plan requiring doctors and nurses to be on site. A mobile emergency room will provide immediate care for anyone who is in need of medical treatment. The emergency plan is being headed up by Teresa Marcus.

Meanwhile, everyone involved is hoping rains from Tropical Storm Fay will hold off until the event is over.

“En Fuego is a rain or shine event,” George reminds everyone. “If it rains, we will continue on unless there is lightning in the area.”

Gates open at 11, and the festival will start at noon. The entertainment lineup includes DPB, Candlefuse, Epic Center Drama Team, Chasen, Wavorly, KJ-52, Thalon, DecembeRadio, Tony Nolan (speaker), Family Force 5, The Basement Drama Team, and BarlowGirl.

Just after the gates open, at 11:15, local praise band Elevate will get the crowd pumped up for the festival.

“If folks are interested in Elevate, they may want to get there early,” George said.

En Fuego is admission-free. Many food vendors will have concessions available throughout the day. The festival will last until approximately 9 p.m.

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