• 61°

En Fuego set for Aug. 24

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Chilton County’s annual free Christian Music festival, En Fuego, will be Aug. 24.

Each year, this event headlining well-known names in Contemporary Christian Music brings thousands of people to Verbena.

Gates open at 11 a.m. with the festival officially starting at noon. For a tentative schedule of when each band will play, visit enfuegoinfo.com/artists/schedule/.

“I’m excited about all of them,” En Fuego board chairman John Dobbs said. “I am really looking forward to Andy Mineo … we have a very diverse lineup this year than what we’ve had in past years.”

This “diverse lineup” includes Torri Parris (whom Dobbs called the “En Fuego house band”), Landers, Sanctus Real, Manic Drive (Canadian band), GFM (Christian heavy metal) and Andy Mineo (Hip Hop).

This year also sees the return of Tenth Avenue North to the En Fuego stage, this time as the headliner.

Dobbs said each year the En Fuego board works with someone in Nashville to see who is available and book bands for the music festival.

Lomax Assembly Pastor Erron Price will be this year’s speaker.

As usual, no outside food or drinks, large backpacks or weapons of any kind will be permitted at the festival.

A number of sponsors will have food trucks on site. Dobbs said these sponsors and fundraisers are what make it possible to keep the concerts free to the public. There will be 10-15 vendors, in addition to the En Fuego table selling food.

“Our line of thinking is a Christian kid will pay to go see a band they like,” Dobbs said. “A kid that is not in church, has never been to church, doesn’t understand it, will come to a concert like En Fuego because it’s a free concert and an outdoor festival, and they come and they hear the music and they hear the gospel preached — that’s the reason we do this.”

In the more than 20 years, that En Fuego has been held, Dobbs estimates that thousands “have made decisions (to follow Christ).”

Dobbs said an average of 15,000 to 20,000 attend the event each year. Last year, when Skillet was the headliner, was probably 20,000-25,000 people attending the event.

En Fuego has 500 volunteers that make the event possible. Some of these volunteers are counselors available for attendees to talk with.

En Fuego is a yearlong endeavor for the board with planning and fundraising. The board meets once a month and then more frequently as they get closer to the event.

“If one person on that hillside comes to know Christ through this event than every bit of what we put into it is worth it,” Dobbs said.

En Fuego is held in an outdoor space at 2701 County Road 23 in Verbena. For more information, visit enfuegoinfo.com.