'Rock the Valley' set for Sept. 1
HURRICANE -- If you like music that rocks, but with a spiritual bent, you might want to check out the second annual "Rock the Valley," a free, family oriented outdoor event and concert at 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 1, on the main soccer field at Valley Park in Hurricane, starring national recording artists The Sidewalk Prophets and Huntington area artist Karen Spurlock.
The event, sponsored by the Teays Valley Ministerial Association, will feature a lot of good music, concessions, and special activities for the entire family. The concert is free, however, pizza and soft drinks will be sold for $1 for each item.
According to TVMA member Bethany Carr, the association wants to offer an event everyone can enjoy.
"We want to bring the community together, and show that our churches are in this together -- to show that we are building the kingdom together," she said.
Last year's event, held at Hurricane High School, attracted about 500 people. This year, the concert and activities will take place at Valley Park. Williams said she has received a lot of calls from people interested in the concert. While most calls are local, she did hear from a youth group in Maryland who saw that the Sidewalk Prophets would be in West Virginia on Labor Day weekend, and wanted to purchase tickets. They were surprised and happy to learn the concert was free. Wiliams is hoping for a good turnout.
"We really don't have a clue as to how many we will have this year," she said. "We believed Labor Day weekend would be a good time to have it," she continued, adding it would give families a fun activity to attend for the holiday weekend.
The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with various churches presenting activities such as games or face painting at their individual booths. Inflatables will also be set up for the enjoyment of the little ones. "Karen Spurlock Band" will go onstage at 6:25 p.m. and "The Sidewalk Prophets" will start at 8 p.m.
For those who aren't familiar with the singers, "The Sidewalk Prophets" have been around for several years and recently received a GMA Dove nomination for Song of the Year for their recording titled "Live Like That." The GMA Dove Award presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. The show will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Oct. 21 on the UP network.
In addition, they won a Dove award for Best New Artists with their First Word Records release of "These Simple Truths."
The band, which is known for its camaraderie with fans, includes lead singer David Frey, lead guitarist Shaun Tomczak, rhythm guitarist Ben McDonald, bassist Cal Joslin, and drummer Justin Nace.
Karen Spurlock said on her Website that she didn't attend church until age 10, when she used to walk to the various churches in her neighborhood.
At 16, she began attending a youth group at Trinity Church of God in Huntington. While at a church camp with the youth group, she learned about good and bad relationships. She said she had been in a bad relationship for two years. Her life changed when she gave her life to God.
Although she knew little music, she had a burning desire to sing, and began leading music worship at a local church. Later, while a student at West Virginia University, she led music worship at Campus Crusade for Christ.
Spurlock recorded her first EP of four original songs in 2009. Her first full album, titled "In a Moment," was recorded in 2010, and she was able to release an EP in 2012 titled, "My Heart's Desire."
She is best known for the songs, "Falling," and "Love Keeps Calling."
Rock the Valley is open to everyone, and Williams said to bring a lawn chair and enjoy the concert and activities with your family.
Sponsors for the event are: Lee Hartman and Sons; Cindy Elkins, Realtor; Family First Realty; Midway Ford; St. Francis Hospital; Williamson and Shriver, Architects; D.L. Martin Construction and Excavating; Putnam County Parks and Recreation, and Teays Valley Auto.