In 2017, it was “Festival at the Farm” – Christian rock on a stage built in the middle of nowhere at a local pastor’s farm. In 2018, it was “Festival at the Fairgrounds” – Christian rock at the Marion County Fairgrounds. This year, it’s “Festival at the Festival”.
Organizers Tony Craig and Pastor Dustin Craig of Created Church decided it was time to quit segregating Christian music festivals from other Marion area events. Says Tony, “Thanks to Brandy Gatrell and her Marion’s Hometown Talent stage, we always got to play the Popcorn Festival, but one band for one hour just didn’t feel like it was enough. This year, we get a whole day, and because of so many other groups on stage that day, we are unofficially calling Thursday ‘Faith and Family Day at the Marion Popcorn Festival’.”
Pastor Dustin continues, “What is really exciting is that the only band to play the ‘big three’ events in Marion – the Marion County Fair, the Marion County Blues & BBQ Festival, and the Marion Popcorn Festival, will be our band, the Created… Music Project. We are truly humbled that a Christian rock band is so accepted at all these events.”
North Union High School's a cappella group, called NU Age A Capella, kicks off the day at 11:00 am. Emanuel Lutheran Childcare takes the stage at noon, and Pleasant High School’s Show Choir, Spartans in Motion, follows them at 12:30.
The Lisiecki Family, featuring Tomasz, the dad, playing accordion, and their kids who are really good musicians and performers, perform at 2:00. Bill Adkins, a local southern gospel singer, returns to the stage at 3:00.
At 4:00, Frank Boyd Jr and his Gospel Blues Band perform at 4:00. Says Tony, “We’ve had the honor to share the stage with Frank, Danny and Danny Jr. many times over the years and love their heart for music and ministry. Not to mention they may be one of the most talented bands around. In fact, Frank recently toured Europe, taking his guitar licks and the message of salvation to several countries there.”
At 5:00, a new band called Rock of Deliverance will be bringing a mix of contemporary, rock and rap music to the stage. Hailing from Bucyrus, Pastor Dustin explains, “We met them at the Marion County Fair. We had a couple of guitars in our booth out there and one of the band members picked one up, played a bit, and we said, ‘you’re in!’”
Around 6:30 as the parade starts to wind down, the Created… Music Project takes the stage providing worship music for Victoria Bell’s Bethlehem Dance Education & Ministry Arts dance team. Bethlehem Dance will continue to perform as the stage is cleared for feature band Carry the Cost to get set up.
Carry the Cost is a Christian band comprised of artists from various cities around central Ohio. A ministry-based band, Carry the Cost focuses on sharing the gospel through a blend of today's contemporary Christian music & familiar inspirational rock hits. They take the stage at 7:30.
Created… Music Project, featuring father-son team Tony and Dustin Craig and local drummer Mason Martin, closes out the night, but between Carry the Cost and CMP, Shannon Thompson, a local Christian singer, will take the stage to keep live music going all night long. Created… Music Project will play until 11:00 or so, with a mix of original music, some of their favorite Christian rock songs, and some parody songs – these are familiar tunes, but with lyrics changed to share stories from the Bible.