Illumination hosts day of hope and encouragement


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE – The 15th annual Illumination Festival: Light in the Darke was an opportunity for organizers to celebrate a decade and a half of bringing uplifting music, fun and encouragement to Darke County. It was a chance to step back in time from 16 years ago and reconnect with the original headliner of the event, Big Daddy Weave.

Mike Weaver, lead singer for the headlining group, may have been entertaining, but more than that he was able to connect with the mission of Illumination to bring a message of hope, encouragement and the words of Jesus to an audience that may not know where they fit in God’s kingdom.

While Illumination has had several artists come back to perform, this was the first time Big Daddy Weave has returned to the Illumination stage since the inaugural event.

From the Coffee House Stage to the Grandstand, the Illumination Festival committee works year-round to bring people together to hear the message of Jesus.

The event began around noon with the opening of games and activities on the midway. New to the festival was the popular virtual reality trailer where visitors could ride roller coasters or fight zombies.

The annual Coffee House kicked off at 1 p.m. with three great regional artists that included Live Past Life from Middletown, He Knows Our Name from Greenville, and B-List Boys from Lima.

In addition to Big Daddy Weave returning to the Illumination stage, the festival hosted three groups making their inaugural appearance at the event. Attaboy kicked off a night of great music and Riley Clemons continued the night of encouraging music and a message to each attendee that “You Matter.”

The festival was also thrilled to bring in a legend in Contemporary Christian music. Mac Powell hit the stage and had the audience on their feet from start to finish. Although he performed some of his newer music as a solo artist, it was the music from his former group, Third Day, that had the crowd clapping, raising their hands and singing along.

The Illumination Festival has been held on the third weekend of September since its inception. They have a dedicated group of volunteers and board members. Some of the board members have been with festival since it organized nearly 17 years ago. The festival is led by Marty and Connie McCabe as president and secretary and Daryl Riffle as vice-president. Two other board members, Chris Hammaker and Ryan Berry, have also been on the board since the first meeting.

Like the Daily Advocate/Early Bird on Facebook to see pictures from this year’s event.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected]

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