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2009 Winterfest crowd breaks record

January 4, 2010 : By David Hylton

More than 8,000 people closed out 2009 at Liberty University’s Winterfest, shattering a record for the eight-year-old event.

The two-day festival, which combines a host of acclaimed Christian musical artists, speakers and entertainers, drew 8,035 people on Dec. 30-31, easily surpassing the previous record of 6,759 in 2006.

“One thing that will never change at Liberty is reaching young people for Christ through music,” said Luke Enns, with Enrollment Management at LU.

Musical guests this year included Skillet, MercyMe, Barlow Girl and Thousand Foot Krutch. Speakers were Matt Pitt, David Nasser and Clayton King. There also were performances by skateboarding pro Tim Byrne and variety entertainer Mark Lippard.

Winterfest is a great way of sharing the message of Jesus Christ and challenging youth in their faith while ringing in the New Year.

“We were able to watch 615 students trust Christ as their personal savior this year at Winterfest,” Enns said. “This is the most important part of hosting Winterfest.”

Liberty personally contacted and counseled 443 of these students. All 615 received a packet including publications by Dr. Jerry Falwell, a Jesus First pen and a daily devotional Bible.

Chris Johnson, vice president for Enrollment Management at LU, said Winterfest is an excellent way to host would-be students, youth pastors and families at a Christian event.

“We love the fact that it’s a chance to showcase the university and show that it is a safe environment for parents to drop off their kids,” he said.

Johnson added that Winterfest is an excellent opportunity for young people to bring their unsaved friends to hear the Gospel for two straight days.

This year’s attendees came from all over the U.S. and in groups numbering more than 100. Some came from as far away as Florida and Southern California.

“It’s amazing to be a part of,” Johnson said of the record-breaking numbers. “It’s a total team effort.”

For more information about Winterfest, visit www.libertywinterfest.com.