More than a glimmer of hope will be available to people of all ages during three days of fun, fellowship and music at Battle River Ranch Camp this weekend.
That’s the promise of the 5th annual Hope 4 More celebration with up to 500 people expected to attend from Friday at 5 p.m. to Sunday at 2 p.m.
“It’s just an urgent need to get out and still bring a message of hope—it seems more than ever with all that’s going on in the world,” said Natalie Ackerman, lead organizer.
“We need to teach the gospel message that there’s still hope no matter.”
All of the action takes place at the camp located 45 kilometres south of Lloydminster on Highway 17 with the focus on family activities.
“There’s something for the entire family—we’re excited,” said Ackerman.
On tap is a kids day camp, a strongman competition, speakers, a prayer tent, merchandise sales and a full line up of entertainment.
The kids day camp includes a petting zoo, face painting and bouncy castles for ages 4 to 12.
“We’ve got a huge music focus as well for the whole family,” said Ackerman.
Nashville star Beckah Shae is the headline performer with other concerts scheduled by The Amunruds, Kenny Mac, Janelle, Laus Deo and Nic Brouwer.
Ackerman says the music will convey a positive uplifting message for the younger generation.
“It seems the kids are listening to a message that promotes drugs, addiction, suicide and death and we see that on the uprise,” said Ackerman.
“So the music we want to lift up has a total message or hope and life and I believe firmly in that.”
Speakers with a message of hope include Mark Mittleberg and local pastors Jonathan Bounds, John Paul and Lyle Berg and Bernie Doan.
Doan’s son Shane, who is an NHL player, will deliver an additional message of hope via satellite.
One of his autographed hockey jerseys will go to the winner of the strongman competition.
“It’s quite an amazing weekend,” said Ackerman, who noted the event has grown over the years.
“We’ve got quite a few different churches doing something, so we’re trying to pull in the whole community.
“They’re loving it and they’re just knowing we give a message that just lifts up and builds the inner person.”
Attendance tends to be dependent on the weather and the harvest, which is late this year.
“It will be a surprise I think this weekend who does turn out,” she said.
Ackerman is also not believing the forecast for some showers, but tents will be set up just in case.
Hope 4 More is not affiliated with the Battle River Ranch that simply makes their land available each year for the outdoor family concert.
“We wanted an outdoor venue from the beginning so we met with them and they said they have the perfect spot,” explained Ackerman.
Hope 4 More is a not for profit organization that hopes to be able to donate some funds to local charities once the budget numbers are crunched.
“We’re just coming the final leg of that so we’ll see,” said Ackerman.