With the Jamaican edition now firmly entrenched - and widely anticipated - on the entertainment calendar, the premier gospel festival, Fun in the Son, has been spreading its wings.
Last August saw the 2nd annual staging of the gospel event in New York City, on the buzzing North-east region of the legendary borough of the Bronx (home, so the claim goes, of hip-hop, but that's another history.)
The event was realized through a sterling partnership between Fun in the Son conceptualizers, the Tommy Cowan-led Glory Music and Good Neighbors Community Outreach Agency and arises from the well-stated success of the former in promoting successful gospel showcases in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
Fun in the Son, with its emphasis on the "Son" started in the north coast resort of Ocho Rios, with the aim of offering a fun filled alternative to traditional spring break activities. Endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board, the event is recognized by many as a wholesome family festival. It has grown over the years to a "mega event" with a variety of engaging activities all under the banner of reaching young people for Christ .
Glory Music's Tommy Cowan, who is the event organizer, affirmed that the festival is about changing lives and giving people hope, as the show's motto suggests: Know Christ and let Him be known.
While acknowledging that "some of it has been quite a battle, " the entertainment veteran remained upbeat, stating "Wherever there is a battle there is a great victory," He also was unreserved in acknowledging the contribution of Jamaica Broilers, longtime partners of the Jamaica event,
Now, there are plans afoot to cover even more ground with additional destinations in the US as well as other Caribbean stops.
The Fun in the Son "formula" is a blend of spoken word ministry with inspirational performances. In New York, Pastor Paul Peart delivered the former, with the musical ministers including Papa San, Glacia Robinson and Carlene Davis. The previous Jamaican showcase was addressed by Andrew Palau, and featured headliner Hezekiah Walker as well as the aforementioned stalwarts and Kevin Downswell, Goddy Goddy, Kereen Gregory, Jermaine Edwards, and more .
There were additional thrills in the form of the Christian stunt riders Extreme Sports, a five-man team out of USA