There is big news from The FEST 2021 organizers.
The daylong celebration of faith, family and fun, which will mark its 21st anniversary this year on Aug. 8, will have both in-person and at-home options. There is a new location for the in-person events: The 132-acre Cleveland Metroparks Brookside Reservation, 3900 John Nagy Blvd., Cleveland. The park, which is easily accessible from interstates 71, 480 and 77, can be accessed from Ridge Road near the Cleveland-Brooklyn border.
By moving the location to Cleveland this year, Father Bob Stec, event founder, said The FEST “allows us to be a beacon of light in our region in the heart of the city.” The location for future FESTs will be determined on a year-to-year basis, he added.
“Take Courage” is this year’s theme, taken from Matthew 14:27. Father Stec said it should provide us all “with the inspiration we need as we move forward out of the pandemic. God is with us. That should give us the courage and grace to walk forward into a very bright and hopeful future.”
Gates will open at 10 a.m., with local talent taking the stage beginning at noon. Four national bands – Tauren Wells, Danny Gokey, for King & Country and We Are Messengers – will perform throughout the afternoon.
Bishop Edward Malesic will celebrate the closing, outdoor Mass at 8 p.m. Because of the location, the traditional fireworks display cannot take place this year but event organizers say there will be some alternatives.
In an effort to keep attendees, volunteers and performers comfortable, in-person attendance will be limited to 15,000 people, according to Father Stec and Jake Bihari of The FEST core team. Tickets, at $10 for anyone 6 years or older, will be required to enter the event in person. Purchase tickets in advance by clicking here. Each attendee must have a ticket – either digital or physical – that will be scanned on entrance, where they will receive a special FEST Day kit, courtesy of Marc’s, an event sponsor.
Those planning to attend the Mass only need not pay, but are asked to register online. However, there is no guaranteed admission for Mass only. By completing the online interest form, FEST organizers can contact those interested in attending only the Mass.
In addition, there is assistance available for those with a financial hardship who want to attend The FEST. Click here to complete an online form to apply for the FEST in-need fund.
Limited on-site parking can be purchased for $15 prior to the event. If any spots are available on FEST day, cost will be $20 on a first-come, first-served basis. Purchase a parking space for the day here. Thousands of free parking spots are available near the park and there will be shuttle service to The FEST throughout the day.
Bihari said event attendees will find the same features as in previous years, with The FEST raffle, Marc’s Moms area, the Man Cave, areas dedicated to prayer, the Kids’ Zone, sponsor tents, food, activities and more.
“We’re working to bring back everything that people love about The FEST,” he said, including prayer, reflection and entertainment. “We’re also working hard to make sure everyone is comfortable and safe.”
Those who prefer to enjoy The FEST at home can participate from the comfort of their homes. “Anyone, anywhere can join us from home,” Father Stec said, adding the organizers are using what they learned last year when they pivoted to produce a hybrid FEST during the pandemic. Watch The FEST website for more information about participating in The FEST @Home.
“The same great team is putting together an inspiring day for you, your family and friends. It will be so good for us to come together for The FEST 2021. We will walk – together – into a bright and hopeful future – and always forward,” said Father Stec.
“It will be a wonderful, exciting and spirit-filled day in this beautiful park. It will be a healthy, happy and holy day,” he added.