En Fuego hosts dinner and auction (photo gallery)

Preparations for the 20th Annual En Fuego Music Festival continued with a dinner and auction on July 21 at Clanton First United Methodist Church. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

Preparations for the 20th Annual En Fuego Music Festival continued with a dinner and auction on July 21 at Clanton First United Methodist Church. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

En Fuego held its annual dinner and silent auction on July 21, which marked the final fundraising effort prior to the music festival on August 27 in Verbena.

The silent auction has raised an average of $10,000 each year, which will go a long way in the helping with supplies and setup of the festival.

“Fundraisers are key, because we have a budget of $100,000 to $150,000 and that is all from donations,” said Jeff Herron, a youth pastor at Clanton First United Methodist Church. “Tonight is huge, because it is all self-produced money.”

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the En Fuego Music Festival.

According to Johnny Giles with En Fuego, the entertainment lineup is bigger than ever.

The list of musical acts includes Mercy Me, Colton Dixon, Natalie Grant, Blanca and Landers.

“We’ve got four big acts, and we’re just pumped about it,” Giles said.

The scale of the event has grown over the years, but one thing has remained consistent and that is that every member of the crew is involved on a strictly volunteer basis.

“There are a lot of folks invested in this,” Giles said. “We have a team of people that take off a week of vacation just to help put on this event.”

Once the dinner and auction roll around, there is anxiousness in the air, as the festival is only about a month away.

“It’s exciting to know that it is upon us,” Herron said. “All this work goes toward that one day.”

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