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Gospel Fest shines through cloudy afternoon

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Gospel Fest shines through cloudy afternoon
October 12
05:00 2017

The second week of Gospel Fest was clouded by the threat of rain.  Even with possible inclement weather, the crowd was treated to a tremendous show that was the perfect way to close out the 2017 Dixie Classic Fair.

Coming in on short notice to open the show due to an illness of a previous performer was Patty Parrin and Friends.  Her brand of Neo-Soul mixed with traditional gospel added a great element to the lineup on Sunday.  She will also be featured at a show on October, 21 at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts.

“Even though we were notified on short notice the first thought that I had was that I was honored to do it,” Perrin said.  “I was happy because any time I can give God praise is great.  I have been sick for a long time and I just can’t stand still with it anymore.

“When you know God has called you to do something and you procrastinate by doing other things, it’s not right and I’m ready.  If they call me again I will come back.  I want people to feel the emotion behind my songs and I am always that person that will sing to your soul.”

This year also included a mime dance routine from young Camari Jeter.  The teenager has performed at Gospel Fest previously and says when she got the call to come again she jumped at the chance.

“My first time was 2013, I think, and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to come back to perform again,” Jeter said.  “I enjoy ministering in front of other people and showing my talents especially as a young person.  As a young person, I think seeing me motivates other youth and inspires them to show their gifts as well.”

Kasey Swinton was a first-time observer of Gospel Fest.  She says she is new to the city and was surprised to see the gospel show during the fair.  She enjoyed the show so much, she and her friends decided to forgo most of the fair and stay for the show.

“We were walking around trying to find something good to eat and we came across the show,” she said.  “I am new to the area but have been to fairs in other cities but they definitely didn’t have anything like this.  I enjoy good music and those who aren’t afraid to show their God given talents in front of others.”

Husband and wife singing duo Raymond and Kim Larkin returned to Gospel Fest to display their loving form of music.  Their connection on stage is evident from the start and it emanates out to the crowd.

“We always love coming to Gospel Fest, connecting with the people and sharing our music and our message,” said Kim Larkin.  “That’s really why we come back because it’s a different audience and you never know who is here.  Our motto is bringing fun back to love through music and entertainment.”

“It feels good to feel the emotion from the crowd because that’s part of the reason what we are there for,” Raymond Larkin said.  “We are here to serve them and give them another light of gospel, the way we present it.”

Dr. George A. Pass II and N.E.W. was also a new addition to the Gospel Fest lineup.  He says he wasn’t surprised when he got the call and was honored to perform.

“We wanted to perform a compilation of some things we have recorded and some things that were personal experiences,” Pass said.  “We like to share with people and like to have a warming experience on their lives.

“I have been coming to the fair since I was a little boy, so to be able to do ministry and share the gospel is tradition at this point,” he continued.  “To me it’s better than ice cream.”

New to hosting this year but definitely not new to the people of the Triad was Busta Brown.  His connection with the crowd and fellow co-hosts made you feel as though he has been hosting Gospel Fest for years.

“I had a great time because I enjoyed vibing with the crowd and coming out representing The Chronicle,” Brown said.  “This is my second time hosting an event while representing The Chronicle and it was a lot of fun introducing myself to The Chronicle audience.

“Working with Debra and Carmen made it easy because they have been doing this for a while and that was a lot of fun as well,” he continued.  “I think it was clear to the audience that we respected each others craft. “

Brown says he was impressed with the display of talent that took the stage on Sunday.  He says the different styles of expression was refreshing to say the least.

Other artists who performed on Sunday were Big Boi Hurt, C.J. Beatty and Bishop Grosjean Stephens.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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