The skies of the Valley of the Sun were filled with flying motorcycles, live music, and words of hope through faith in Jesus Christ on March 19 & 20 at Arizona CityFest with Luis Palau. The free, family-friendly festival drew many tens of thousands of people over two days to Tempe Town Lake.
"This was an unforgettable campaign," said world evangelist and author Luis Palau. "More than 550 churches, dozens of businesses and thousands of volunteers worked tirelessly to make this happen."
CityFest and the surrounding Season of Service initiative were endorsed by nine Valley mayors, with business leader Jerry Colangelo and NFL superstar Kurt Warner serving as honorary co-chairs.
Top musical artists, including TobyMac, Skillet, The Band Perry, and Mat Kearney brought live music for the two days of proclamation at the park. World-class action sports and a family fun zone also entertained crowds, which were among the largest to ever gather at Tempe Lake Park. CityFest represented two days of proclamation of the Good News, the culmination of a region-wide campaign launched last October. Over the past seven months tens of thousands of volunteers have joined in to help serve the needs of the area.
Season of Service volunteers from the faith community provided an estimated 140,000 hours of labor at more than 450 projects. In addition, an organization called City Serve Arizona has been established with the goal of building and growing the level of community services for years to come.
"The goal of the Season of Service was to build a foundation for long-term partnerships among churches, public agencies and service organizations to serve in areas of need," said the Palau ministry's president Kevin Palau. "We've seen long-term sustainability in previous cities such as Portland, Little Rock, and San Diego and we'll work for similar results in the Valley."
CityFest itself was a nonstop, two-day event full of music, extreme sports demonstrations and family activities, including specific programs in English and Spanish. During both days Palau shared the clear Gospel message of Jesus Christ and called people to public commitments. Testimonies also came from guest speakers including baseball All-Star Josh Hamilton and Luis Palau's son Andrew. The younger Palau flew directly from a festival he was speaking at in Kingston, Jamaica – attended by tens of thousands of people on Saturday – to participate in CityFest on Sunday.
The festival week also included an event for business and civic leaders – including welcoming remarks from Governor Jan Brewer – and a women's luncheon and expo.
The Oregon-based Luis Palau Association has brought a message of hope through faith in Jesus Christ to more than 1 billion people through radio, television, the Internet, books and articles, including 28 million people face-to-face in 73 nations. Palau's daily radio broadcasts are heard by tens of millions of listeners on 3,000+ radio outlets in 48 countries. He is the author of close to 50 books including his latest, "Changed by Faith" (Tyndale, 2011), which released this month.