Most kids head back to school next week, but at least they have one last summer hurrah to anticipate.
Thousands of kids and their families are expected to converge on DelGrosso's Amusement Park Sept. 6 for the Last Blast of Summer Christian music festival.
"It's a full-day event," said George Palmer, president of Frontline Ministries, organizer of the event.
(Courtesy photo) VOTA, formerly Casting Pearls, will be in concert Sept. 6 at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park in Tipton.
The 11th annual Last Blast of Summer event will feature VOTA, a pop band, which recently changed its name from Casting Pearls and Christian pop singer Francesca Battistelli.
321 Comedy Improv will perform comedic skits.
"It's more than just the music," Palmer said. He will be lead worship, along with VOTA that morning.
In the past, the concert has featured heavier Christian rock music, but because DelGrosso's is a family park, Frontline Ministries wanted to appeal to everyone.
"We bring music that will have a broad appeal. The youth are going to like it, but so are moms and dads," Palmer said.
VOTA's lead singer, Bryan Olesen, said the music will appeal to a diverse crowd.
"Our music is rock. It's pop. It's fun. We like to engage whoever is there," Olesen said. "I want to write music that's accessible to a large number of people."
"It will be a first time for us," Olesen said of performing at DelGrosso's park. "Usually at smaller venues it's easier to make a connection that you feel close to the audience. The bigger the concert, the further you seem from the audience."
Although VOTA may not be performing in a city arena, youth groups from all over the Mid-Atlantic region will carry busloads full of teens ready to have a good time.
Russ Peruso, youth group leader at Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren in Johnstown, has been bringing about 20 junior and senior high school kids to the Last Blast of Summer concerts for six years.
"We love everything. The concert, the family atmosphere, the preaching. It's a nice Sunday service and it gives my youth an opportunity to hear somebody fresh. They enjoy listening to the testimonies of the artists," Peruso said.
One member of Peruso's youth group, 17-year-old Lexi Jones, has been going to Last Blast for the past three years because she likes the music and the intimate atmosphere.
"You can get closer to the stage than at Creation fest. It's a family event. We sit on camping chairs and enjoy the concert," Jones said.
"It's way more personal than Creation Fest, and the artists are a little more relaxed," Peruso said. "It's more intimate with God and the artists."
"I think they just get a well-rounded spiritual experience," Peruso said his youth group. "They have fun and fellowship with fellow believers."
Palmer said people of all ages should enjoy the day.
"We'll be up there having a good time," Palmer said. Having a good time is what Last Blast is all about. Not only are there the concerts and the comedy sketches, but families can enjoy the rides and water park," he said.
"I think this is the perfect staycation event for Labor Day weekend. It's a great place being at a park and everything fun that's going to happen there," Palmer said.
Jones is looking forward to it.
"It's fun and you meet up with your friends. I love Creation, but Creation doesn't have a water park," Jones said.
Although the concerts are free, ride tickets still need to be purchased. Ride tickets can be purchased in advance from Frontline M