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Hope Fest brings in the big names

Aubree Bullock will be the Hope Fest headliner for Thursday, June 6. Submitted Photo

Though it’s only in its second year, the 2013 Hope Fest celebration in Detroit Lakes is seeking to make a name for itself by booking some of Christian music’s biggest names as its headliners.

Aubree Bullock, Dallas Holm and Petra are all scheduled to take part in the three-day event, set to take place June 6, 7 and 8 at the same 105-acre concert site on North Tower Road where last year’s festival was held.

Owned by The Refuge Christian Outreach Center — organizers of the annual festival — the property was officially dedicated as part of last year’s inaugural Hope Fest, which was organized on a much smaller scale.

“It’s a big climb (in size) from last year, with more bands, bigger names and even more activities,” says Randy Kohler, operations manager for The Refuge.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that there is no admission fee.

“The only expense to attend will be a $2 parking fee and the cost of food,” Kohler added.

Of course, there will also be a wide variety of artwork, jewelry, clothing and other merchandise for sale as part of the Hope Fest Arts & Crafts Fair, which will be open throughout the weekend’s festivities.

“We will have over 50 vendors there,” Kohler said — though there is still room for more.

“We want to encourage any area residents who do arts and crafts, along with other interested vendors, to sign up now for a weekend of family fun, food and fellowship,” Kohler said.

The vendor fee is $35 per day, or $50 for the weekend, he added.

Area organizations and businesses interested in sponsoring the event are also encouraged to contact The Refuge as soon as possible, he added, in order to be included in Hope Fest radio and newspaper advertising.

For a $400 sponsorship fee, each participating organization or business will also receive six free meal tickets, including admission to Thursday’s hog roast and the pitchfork steak fondue on Saturday.

“There will also be ‘state fair’-style food served up by the Northern Lights Church available throughout the weekend,” Kohler added.

Meal tickets will also be on sale at the venue, he said.

Other activities offered during the festival will include inflatable games, horse-drawn carriage rides and hay rides, “pumpkin patch” wagon rides and face painting for the kids, “and much, much more,” Kohler said.

But of course, the weekend’s big event will be the live music, which begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and noon on Saturday.

The festivities will conclude by 10 p.m. each day, with the headliners set to take the stage at 8 p.m. on Thursday (Bullock), Friday (Holm) and Saturday (Petra).

Other featured performers will include the Sky Blues Band, Red Letter Band, Beyond Blue, Shepherd’s Gate, My King’s Ransom, Firestarters and Pure.

“It will be a mix of local and national bands,” Kohler said.

Besides sponsors, volunteers are also needed to help with parking, setup, cleanup and other preparations, he added.

For more information, please visit the website,, or call The Refuge at 218-847-1982.

About the headliners

Aubree Bullock is a Nashville recording artist who grew up at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. She has always loved singing country music, with Patsy Cline being a favorite. Her musical journey began at an early age; she was regularly performing for audiences of all ages by the time she was seven years old. She grew up singing in churches, talent shows and anywhere she could find a stage to perform. She knows that God led her to music and has opened doors for her that she was willing to step through.

Dallas Holm has earned his influence in today’s Christian music throughout 43 years of writing, singing and ministry in some 5,000 concerts in every state in the USA as well as many countries abroad. His 36 recordings have garnered gold records, multiple Dove awards, Grammy nominations, Gospel Music Hall of fame Inductee, number one songs, and countless accolades. During his travels, Dallas also speaks and teaches what God has taught him in his journey.

Information about all the participating bands —including clips of their music — is also available at The Refuge’s website,

Petra is a prominent Christian rock band regarded by many as a pioneer of the Christian rock and of the Contemporary Christian music genres. Petra was formed in 1972, in Fort Wayne, Ind., by Bob Hartman, Greg Hough, Bill Glover and John DeGroff while they were college students. The name of the band comes from the Greek word for “rock.”

With a style initially compared to bands like The Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Petra’s sound evolved into a more energetic, driving rock sound in the early ‘80s. The late ‘80s and the early ‘90s was a very successful period for the band, when it was considered the best-known, best-selling Christian band in the country. The band has released 24 albums, selling millions of copies worldwide, in addition to winning four Grammy Awards and 10 Dove Awards. Petra was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000 and was the first Christian band to be inducted into the Hard Rock Café (1994).

About The Refuge

The Refuge Christian Outreach & Resource Center, located at 921 SE 8th St. in Detroit Lakes, is an ecumenical Christian ministry “dedicated to helping God’s people in times of need.”

The Refuge also operates the Solid Grounds Coffee Shop, Helping Hands Thrift Store, Compassion House Men’s Homeless Shelter, chapel services and Our Daily Bread meal program.

For more information, or to volunteer, please call 218-847-1982. 

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454