LifeLight Tour Bus comes to WorthingtonWORTHINGTON — It started out as a one-day festival on a church lawn with 1,500 people. Now it’s an international ministry that plans on seeing a couple hundred thousand people over the course of its festival in Worthing, S.D. over Labor Day weekend.
WORTHINGTON — It started out as a one-day festival on a church lawn with 1,500 people. Now it’s an international ministry that plans on seeing a couple hundred thousand people over the course of its festival in Worthing, S.D. over Labor Day weekend.
On Monday, the LifeLight Tour Bus was at the Worthington Pizza Ranch celebrating its 15th year anniversary.
“It’s a great way to meet people and hear stories of LifeLight,” said Vicki Greene, president and co-founder of LifeLight.
Vicki and her husband Alan founded the festival together after a family mission trip to Mexico.
“We wanted to think of what we could do in our community,” Alan said. “God reached both of us through music, so we understood the power of it.”
The first festival took place on a church lawn in 1998, but it quickly outgrew the venue.
“In 2001, we knew it was time to move on, and in 2002, things really started to explode,” Alan said. “We both took a faith step and left our jobs, and that’s when people started realizing it was a full time thing.”
And the festival didn’t just grow locally. They had a festival in Missouri last June, and will be in Guatemala in November. There will also be a festival in Haiti on the anniversary of the earthquake, and they will be launching the first festival in Texas next year over Memorial Day weekend.
“It’s great because no matter what denomination or age you are, there’s something for everyone there,” Vicki said.
There will be six stages and 98 bands of different genres at the South Dakota festival this year, as well as seminars, an art gallery, basketball courts and a skate park.
“It’s a crazy party,” Alan said.
“It grows because people come for the first time for half a day, and then a day, and then the weekend, and they invite they’re friends and families,” Vicki added. “Entire families will camp out.”
They try to keep a good variety of bands at the festival.
“Once you’ve built it, you get a lot of favorite bands over the years and you want them all to just come back every year,” Vicki said. “But we try to keep it fresh and new.”
As with any concert, all of the bands at LifeLight are paid. LifeLight has more than 100 business sponsors, church sponsors and other individuals that donate money.
“They sponsor and donate because they believe it’s a good cause,” Vicki said. “There are also offering boxes at the festivals.”
The donations and sponsors are what allow the event to remain free to the public.
Pizza Ranch has been a huge sponsor of the festival for years. They helped wrap the bus for the LifeLight tour. The bus itself was donated as well.
“The tour is also a great way to thank Pizza Ranch,” Vicki said. “They’ve been a great sponsor of ours, and we get to meet the managers and thank them.”
Pizza Ranch was selling two slices of pizza and 20 oz. bottles of pop for $5 over the lunch hour yesterday, with all of the proceeds going to LifeLight .
Worthington was only one of 15 stops on the bus tour before the South Dakota Festival, which will take place on a farm in Worthing, S.D. over Labor Day Weekend.
“It’s all a God story,” Vicki said. “We just said yes to God all the time, and this is what He did.”
Daily Globe Reporter Brianna Darling may be reached at 376-7321.