Joyfest Navarre is kicking off this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Navarre Park on Navarre Parkway. The second annual event will feature musicians and praise teams from parishes and churches around our area, testimony, food, fun and more, and it is all free.
The event will close with a memorial to the crew of the Blackhawk helicopter that went down in Santa Rosa Sound in March this year.
“In our hearts, we truly believe the idea was God-given: a day where we all come together, regardless of denomination, to offer a day of praise and worship to Him,” said Julie Condon. The owner of the Salt Water Cottage shop in Navarre said she thought about it for years, and last year the first event, on October 18, 2014 went better than she imagined.
“Anybody will tell you that attended last year: The presence of the Holy Spirit was there. People were just captured,” Condon said. “They didn’t want to leave because they felt the joy and the love. All the denomination walls were torn down as we prayed they would.”
Julie and her business associate Bobbie Harms have headed the effort for both years. “This dream could have gotten off the ground without [Bobbie], Julie said. “I can’t even tell you how excited I am about how much momentum seems to be evident for this.” Condon said the best part of the event was seeing pastors who did not know each other until Joyfest and become friends and form a community. “I love the fact no one said where do you go. It wasn’t about that,” Condon said. “It was nothing but joy.”
She said a lady vacationing in Navarre from Oklahoma came to Joyfest last year to find out what ministry God wanted her to start. From Joyfest, she left knowing that she would form a Joy Bear Ministry, making toys for sick children. And those bears will be available at the event this Saturday.
Harms said any church is welcome to come and set up a table or booth, and offer anything from free. Water, hot dogs, pizza, coloring books, brochures and children’s games were among the offerings last year, she said. No sales are allowed, only giveaways, she added.
Through the year Condon and a prayer partner, Gail Lyons Roberts, have met to walk through at Navarre Park and pray for the success of this year’s event. Praying for people to feel the presence and want to stay.
People from Illinois, Tennessee, Louisiana and Oklahoma have scheduled vacations to be here for Joyfest, Condon said.