Thousands attend 16th annual En Fuego

Published 4:43 pm Monday, August 27, 2012

Making music: Sanctus Real performs at En Fuego on Saturday. The event is held in Verbena. / Megan Green

Sixteen years after its inception, En Fuego is still fulfilling the mission its founders had from the beginning: to change lives in one day.

This year’s event on Saturday, Aug. 25, in Verbena drew possibly its third largest crowd, according to event organizers.

Packed in: Organizers estimate 15,000-20,000 fans attended this year’s En Fuego, the 16th year for the event. / Kathy Giles

“I think we had a wonderful event in every way,” board member Kevin George said of the outdoor Christian music festival. “We prayed with approximately 200 students with different types of decisions.”

George and En Fuego co-founder Johnny Giles said about 60 of those decisions were first-time salvations – people starting relationships with Christ – while others were re-dedicating their lives to the Lord, or in George’s words, “taking their relationship with Christ to the next level.”

“Every year, we have a number of Chilton County inmates that help us out,” George said. “We had a number of those inmates that we, as a board, prayed with and a number of those inmates made decisions about Christ as well.

“If we’re able to change their lives, then perhaps they won’t end up back in jail,” he said.

Although attendance at En Fuego is difficult to calculate because it is free, George said people downloaded about 10,000 admission tickets from the website prior to Aug. 25.

Downloaded tickets, combined with merchandise and concession sales, suggested that between 15,000-20,000 people came through the gates.

Giles said he plans to add more shuttle buses next year to speed up the transportation process from the parking lot to the gates.