Beautiful day a good backdrop for Gospel Fest

Published 8:38 am Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cool temperatures and blue skies welcomed music lovers from all over to the third annual Bogalusa Gospel Music Festival. Cassidy Park delighted the crowd with beautiful colors of springtime, and youngsters played in the sunshine while parents looked on contentedly and shared conversation with other adults.

Danyell Rayburn said, “Merri Ellen and Anne Elyse are really enjoying their play time. We came to feed the ducks and were pleasantly surprised to have entertainment. It’s an awesome day.”

Festival Chairman the Rev. Greg Whaley of First Baptist Church Bogalusa welcomed the growing crowd. He asked God’s blessing on the day’s proceedings and thanked Him for the gift of beautiful weather for the event.

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette spoke briefly also thanking God for His wonderful blessings.

She said, “It’s a great day. The Lord couldn’t have made a better one.”

Pastor Travis Houston of First Church was introduced as master of ceremonies for the event and quickly got things rolling with “Shallow Creek” of Picayune, Miss. Kenny Dawsey’s original song, “When His Glory Comes Down,” featuring Dawsey on the mandolin, delighted the crowd.

Officer Paul Pajak could be seen trolling around the park in his uniform.

He jokingly said, “They asked me to come out and keep this rowdy crowd under control. It’s gonna be hard, but someone’s got to do it.”

Thus went the day — filled with good-natured laughter and fun.

The range of musical groups from southern gospel to contemporary Christian ensured something for the musical palette of folks of all ages. Wade Willard of Slidell and Amber Almond of Picayune, along with Jessica Parker and Sarah Long of Mandeville, traveled together to the festival. They all sported 7eventh Time Down T-shirts while excitedly waiting for their favorite band to take the stage.

The festival committee scurried about making sure that all bases were covered throughout the day.

When Whaley took a breather he said, “The weather is perfect, and the bands are strong. Everybody is excited to be here. It’s a good day for Bogalusa. There are smiles all around, and we really have a good crowd.”