Fifth annual Hope Fest brings together a variety of services on courthouse plaza

Bill Jacobsen, left, with Church in the Wind chats with Chuck Cean about helping heal veterans through God  during the 2015 Hope Fest AZ in downtown Prescott.

Photo by Matt Hinshaw.

Bill Jacobsen, left, with Church in the Wind chats with Chuck Cean about helping heal veterans through God during the 2015 Hope Fest AZ in downtown Prescott.

PRESCOTT – Even as the fledgling Hope Fest event was getting off the ground five years ago, co-founder Jaye Lene Long was getting a persistent question: “What about next year?”

The fifth annual event, which will take to the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza this weekend, “woke up a need in the community that wasn’t being met,” Long said. Namely: “An opportunity to collaborate and learn about one another. That’s what we’re about – collaborating,” she said.

Hope Fest, which is free to the public, will kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, and run through 8 p.m. at the courthouse plaza in downtown Prescott. The Prescott City Council proclaimed Oct. 22 as the fifth annual Hope Fest Arizona in action this past week.

Long noted that Hope Fest has come far over the past five years, after initially starting as a summer concert.

Now, as many as 300 organizations are involved, and the event will feature upwards of 150 vendor booths. About 6,000 people attended the 2015 event, Long said, and 180 volunteers pitched in to help.

The event – billed as a resource fair and outreach festival – offers a variety of information and services.

“The Hope Fest Community Resource Fair boasts more than 150 vendor booth with information about veterans’ services, health, housing, recovery, education, family resources, senior options, adoption, foster care jobs, volunteer opportunities, and first responders,” the news release stated.

In addition, “The family-friendly Fun Zone promises diverse children’s activities, including face painting, bounce houses, games, skits, dancers, and a very special 3 on 3 competition hosted by the Northern Arizona SUNS.”

Music also is still an important component of the event. Three stages will be on hand Saturday, featuring performances by: headliner Todd Agnew, a contemporary Christian musician, at 6:30 p.m., as well as singer-songwriters Mia Koehne and Skylar Kaylyn, Covenant 31, The Billy Spoon Band, Skylee Shea, and Christian artist Brian Weaver.

The event continues to seek donors, sponsors, vendors, and volunteers, the news release stated, adding: “Anyone can help by bringing donations of canned food, new cold weather gear, coats, socks, sleeping bags, and other winter provisions,” the release added.

The presenting sponsor Lamb Chevrolet will be joined by other supporters, including Teen Challenge of Arizona, John Hancock Barbershop, Yavapai Bottle Gas, OneAZ Credit Union, N AZ SUNS, Take 12 Recovery Radio, Great Circle Media, Arizona Sine Radio, and Magic 99.1FM, according to the news release.

More information is available online at www.HopeFestAZ.com, or by calling 928-387-4673.