MOUNT AIRY — Eight religious-music groups will offer joyful noises to the Lord Saturday in Carroll's first Christian music festival.
"This is an interdenominational event, a day of music and ministry," said Mike Millner, president of Glory Concerts Inc., organizer of the festival. "Weexpect people all the way from little children up to older people. This is a total family event."
The daylong festival will feature contemporary and gospel music from national Christian artists Margaret Becker, Susan Ashton, Billy and Sarah Gaines and the rap group, PID. The event will run from noon to 7:30 p.m. at the Timber Ridge Farm off Route 27.
Three area groups -- Chosen Generation and Alexander, both from Baltimore, and the Maranatha Church of God Sanctuary Choir from Frederick -- also will perform.
The concert has been in the making for about a year, Millner said.
He said other Christian music festivals, such as the Creation festival at the Agape Farm in Mount Union, Pa., and the Fishnet festival in Front Royal, Va., impressed him so much that he wanted topromote one in the Baltimore-Washington region.
"I was captivatedby that sort of event and thought it would be great to have that kind of event here," he said. "There was a strong feeling that this would be a great event to have in the fall, when the kids were going backto school."
Activities for children include a story-teller, clowns, a petting zoo and a puppet show, with children's performers from Frederick and West Virginia, said co-organizer Rick Smith.
"Parentscan go out and listen to the music, knowing that their children are under good supervision," he said. "Most kids don't want to sit through a rock concert."
Visitors can also sample food and sodas and gather literature.
"There will be a number of displays from Christianbook stores, the international support organization, Compassion, andgroups like that," Millner said.
The four company members say their desire to sponsor family oriented entertainment has led them to plan two more concerts later this year.
On Nov. 23, Mylon LeFevor and Broken Heart will open with White Heart and the Christian rap groupD.O.C. for a Thanksgiving concert at Constitution Hall in Washington.
For New Year's Eve, a dinner concert with performances by StevenGross Chapman and Twila Paris will be sponsored at the Sheraton Washington.
"Our goal is to have eight events, each designed around a special time of the year," Millner said. "Maybe we'll have five otherevents around Valentine's Day, Easter and other significant times."
The company is charging for the concerts, but members don't expectto make much profit this year.
"If (we do make a profit), it wouldn't be for a long time," Millner said. "It's pretty much a break-even sort of deal."
Ticket prices have been lowered from $16.50 to $12 for adults and from $9 to $5 for children.
"We've had a lot of interest, but we want to make sure everyone who wants to come can come," Millner said.
Children younger than 5 will be admitted free; tickets are $10 each for groups of 20 or more.
Tickets are availableat the Westminster Christian Book Store and the New Song Guitar Center, in Westminster, and most area Christian book stores.
Information: 696-8880 or (800) 875-GLORY.