Some of the most popular Christian music performers will headline free CityFest concerts on the downtown Tyler square Oct. 5-6.

The concerts will culminate a crusade by evangelist Andrew Palau that includes luncheons, prayer sessions and Christian ministry outreach. Nearly 400 area congregations have committed to supporting the effort, organizers said. 

Events on the square will begin at 4 p.m. both days. A Family Fun Zone will have inflatables for children to play on, face painting, kid-friendly entertainment and booths where families can learn more about the gospel, according to the event schedule.

The action will shift to the main stage at 6 p.m. and include Palau giving what is being promoted as a “message of hope” and the performers.

“It is a celebration and a convening of people around service, prayer and sharing the Gospel; sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ in our neighborhood,” Festival Director Duffy Johnson said.

Performing on Oct. 5 will be Ryan Stevenson, Blanca and Newsboys.

Newsboys was founded in Australia and the band’s music is often described as Christian rock. The group is on its Greatness of Our God Tour to promote its most recent album, “United.”

Performing on Oct. 6 will be Marisol Park, Pat Barrett, Josh Turner and Lecrae.

A native of Houston, Lecrae is a rapper and hip-hop artist whose music reflects his Christian faith. He has spoken out on topics including racial injustice and of young men not living up to their role as fathers.

He was the first hip-hop artist to win Dove, Grammy and BET awards for gospel music.

CityFest Operations Director Sarah Brittan said that the concerts likely will draw more than 10,000 each night.

“They expect it to be the biggest crowd that’s ever been in downtown Tyler at one time,” she said. “You have almost 400 churches on-board with something together in the area. It’s truly monumental to see everyone set their denominations and certain beliefs aside and come together for one big event for the community.”

Danny Mogle has covered news in East Texas for decades. He currently focuses on arts, entertainment and human interest stories and serves as the editor of Lifestyles Magazine.

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