By Walter Rutledge
Gospelfest 2016 – Honor Thy Mother took place on Saturday May 7th, 2016 at the Prudential Center (25 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ). The event produced a two-fold celebration; it is both the ultimate gospel music extravaganza and a wonderful tribute to our mothers. The Mother’s Day Eve event has become a day long gospel event for the entire family and community.
Originated in 1983 under the auspices of the McDonald’s Corporation, the McDonald’s New York Metro Owner/Operator Association and Emmy Award winning producer/director A. Curtis Farrow the festival has emerged as the nation’s preeminent Gospel celebration. Starting at 4pm the afternoon begins with competitions for gospel’s rising stars of all colors, ages and cultures. The groups compete in a variety of categories including Soloists, Youth Choirs, Adult Choirs, Praise Dancers, Steppers, Singing Groups, Gospel Comedians, Gospel Poets and Gospel Rappers. The competition is an important fundraising event supporting education opportunities for youth within local communities.
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At 6:30pm the afternoon competition segued into the main event, the much anticipated gospel concert. The evening concert featured the giants, icons, and legends of gospel music, with careers spanning over six decades. This year the roster included Choreographer George Faison, Jennifer Holliday, Shirley Caesar, Cissy Houston, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Tamela Mann, and Bishop Hezekiah Walker & LFC.
Gospelfest 2016 Highlights