An eclectic variety of faith-based music, including Latin salsa, energetic pop and acoustic folk came together during last weekend’s fifth annual Elevation Festival, which offered fellowship, tunes, food and activities for families at Veterans Memorial Park by West Grand High School in Kremmling.
Kelsey Hargadine of Kremmling Community Church was on hand throughout the weekend to help run the event. It was completely free, thanks to an anonymous donor. Hargadine said the West Grand donor wanted the event to “focus on the goodness of God” free of charge. On the Friday before the festival officially kicked off, members of Kremmling Community Church participated in local community service projects.
Although the event started off in West Grand, Hargadine explained that churches from all over Grand County, Summit County and Steamboat Springs gathered for this year’s festival. Three of the four bands that performed traveled from the Front Range, and The Hunts — Elevation’s headliner — hail from Virginia.Faith-based music weaved together the entire festival. Confluence Music Group started off the show, followed by Remezcla, which offered Latin remixed tunes with plenty of trumpets. Christian pop artist Sean BE brought his highly energetic performance to Elevation’s stage.
“This is my second year to be blessed to be a part of (Elevation),” said BE. “I love what they’re doing; their heart is behind it and their mission is incredible. Somebody had it in their heart to say, I want to reach people and shine a light in the middle of Kremmling. They came forward and just created that opportunity.”On Saturday evening, The Hunts offered melodic guitar tunes and earthy folk singing that was at home in Kremmling’s mountainous setting. The band, comprised of seven brothers and sisters, has been touring together for over a decade, opening for iconic Christian bands including X-Ambassadors, The Fray, and Judah and the Lion.
The festival’s keynote speaker is famous in a different field. Dalton Risner, an offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos, spoke to the crowd about his life and his faith. In addition to three successful seasons in the NFL, the Colorado-raised athlete started the RisnerUp Foundation, which offers youth football camps and participates in Christian community service projects.“Football may be awesome. I may be able to play in front of 100,000 fans and be on national television, but one thing that’s always been more important to me is what I can do with this platform,” Risner said. “I care about the type of man that I am and the heart that I have.”
On Sunday, Elevation culminated with morning worship music with The Hunts, a free BBQ lunch and a speech by Pastor Robbie James of Kremmling Community Church. After a weekend that focused on the importance of family values and community, Pastor James, a father himself, concentrated on these during his sermon of Jesus’ story of the prodigal son, who returns to his father’s open arms after abandoning his family.