En Fuego celebrated 20 years

Published 3:03 pm Monday, August 29, 2016

The crowd at En Fuego on Aug. 27 in Verbena, Alabama. (Photo by Keith McCoy)

The crowd at En Fuego on Aug. 27 in Verbena, Alabama. (Photo by Keith McCoy)


En Fuego music festival brought thousands to Verbena on Saturday, Aug. 27. Music lovers were treated to live tunes in the open air.

The temperature was well into the 90s when the first band took the stage. The hillside was already filling with lawn chairs, tents and umbrellas at around 2p.m. The first spots to go were those in the shade.

En Fuego was prepared for the heat, however. Volunteers sprayed water hoses from the stage into the crowd at the base of the hill. Screams of excitement rang out before the next band took the stage, and the cooled crowd moved with the music.

Attendees were there from places all over Alabama. Treasure Harris and Allanah Gray came with their youth group of 15 students from Sylacauga, Alabama.

“We’re most excited about MercyMe,” said Harris. She said that her students and the adults all agreed on that one.

Adam Jacks, a student at CCHS, said it was his first year.

“My friend told me it was a great experience to come and hear all the great music,” said Jacks, who was most excited for Colton Dixon.

Organizers had their biggest budget yet and went for some big names to make the 20th year of En Fuego one to remember. Landers, Blanca, Colton Dixon, Natalie Grant, and MercyMe all rocked the hillside venue.

Although the music draws people and the atmosphere is exciting and casual, the volunteers and organizers of the event have a mission. The resounding statement from them was that the day is all about Christ.

“All of our volunteers have a heart for it,” said Christy Harmon, a lead volunteer. “I call every volunteer that we have and have a conversation with them about our purpose for En Fuego: to bring people closer to Christ.”

Harmon said that at any given time on Saturday, there were around 350 medical, security, and general volunteers working the event. The Chilton County Sheriff’s Department had officers there for security and to help with traffic.

Buses of people were shuttled from parking lots nearly a mile from the event. Groups who had already unloaded offered their vans to be used as shuttles until everyone was inside the gates.

At the end of the day, an opportunity was given for anyone who wanted to be prayed with to do so. There was a counseling tent with volunteers who had been preparing for this very moment for months leading up to En Fuego.

Volunteers stepped forward to speak with and pray for children, teens and adults. Youth leaders and pastors joined as well.

Jeff Herron, an En Fuego board member and event organizer, described Saturday’s event as an “overall fantastic day” and said that there were many decisions made to follow Christ.

(Gallery photos by Keith McCoy)