Family-friendly Christian festival back in Olathe
Yes, there’s corn in Olathe, but there’s also Night Vision, a weekend Christian festival July 13-14 that features some of the hottest acts in Christian music, as well as guest speakers who are sure to challenge and give inspiration for your life. Night Vision is hosted by Praise Him Ministries out of Ridgway, which began the event after Lucretia Church, the events director for the ministry, felt like the Lord was telling her to give back to the local community.
“It’s really an outreach to the people,” said Dianne Rogers with Brimstone Productions, the marketing group for Night Vision. “She wanted people to be able to come with their families. No alcohol is served, and people come for the fellowship and the teaching.”
There are activities for children, comedians between acts, food, vendors and other attractions in addition to the speakers, the music and the fellowship. Usually, about 20,000 people attend the weekend event, which is in its seventh year.
“The festival is a youth event, but most of the ministry (of Praise Him Ministries) reaches out to older people,” Rogers said. The concert draws people from across the four corners’ region, bringing in people from Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and other states across the west.
ARTIST FOCUS: El Trio de Hoy
El Trio de Hoy has been together since 1997 and working in full-time ministry since 1999. Although the band’s name suggests a band with three members, the name is a reflection of the style of music played by the five-member band.
“Trio music is folk music with a Latin style,” said band member Kuzo Velez, who said authentic trio music features three voices singing tight harmonies, two guitars and a maracas. “We added contemporary sounds with bass and drums.”
This is the second year El Trio de Hoy has come to Night Vision.
“I love the fact that it brings together so many styles of music, which are all there to bring the message of the Lord,” Velez said.
El Trio de Hoy consists of Velez, his brother, Freddie Velez, Omar Salas, Alex Moran and Orlando Gonzalez. The Velez brothers are PK, which is Christian slang for preacher’s kids. The boys grew up in New York and learned to play music at a young age.
They participated in a prison ministry with their dad and played when they visited the prison.
Although El Trio de Hoy has played on many memorable stages, including the White House, where they participated in the national prayer breakfast twice, the biggest thrill for the native New Yorker Velez was playing to a crowd of 55,000 at Madison Square Garden.
“The Lord used us to lift up his name,” Velez said. “Wherever He opens up a door, we represent him as best as we can.”
El Trio de Hoy sings in both Spanish and English, which makes them unique among Latin Christian groups. Most groups sing wholly in Spanish, if they’re singing traditional trio music or stick to English, if they’re singing contemporary Christian music.
“We will do a bilingual set,” Velez said. “People have been very receptive to our style of music.”