Festival Draws A Crowd

ST. MARYS — An air-conditioned sanctuary, six talented acts, food, and fellowship made the first-ever Waynestock a day to remember.

It may have been sweltering outside, but that did not stop local residents from coming to Wayne Street United Methodist Church.

Saturday’s Waynestock had been more than a year in the making. Keith Jacobs said he envisioned this idea as a new way for community members to come together and worship. The youth group and the rest of the parish worked together to help Jacobs’ idea become reality.

“It was really Keith’s vision,” volunteer Brenda Jones told The Evening Leader, “We just followed it and it came true.”

Jacobs said he hoped Waynestock would be an event, somewhat like Country Concert, where fans of Christian music could have a day full of worship. He is optimistic festival can become an annual event and increase in popularity.

The event started at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with a prayer by the Rev. Jon Kraner before Just Us Quartet took the stage. Everett Gross, Dale Dicus, Garth Parsons, and Don Bailey sang an array of songs — some accompanied on keyboard by Karen Bailey and a couple a cappella. They closed their portion with a medley of patriot songs and announced their performance at the Auglaize County Fair will be held Sunday night.  

Another local talent, Never Sleep, took the stage next. Playing a mix of both Christian and contemporary hits, Jacob Barrett, Ryan Wendel, Wade Enicks, Joseph Brenneman, Liz Sampson and Josh Barnes rocked the stage. Waynestock proved to be another opportunity for this new band to get some publicity.

“We’re excited to start getting our name out there,” Barrett said. “All we really want to do is get the word out about God and have fun while doing it.”

Wayne Street’s own Awaken entertained with a stage full of local musicians. Recordings of some of Awaken’s songs were given away with a donation of any amount.

Between sets, attendees were encouraged to visit the kitchen area for a snack. From chicken sandwiches to Guarnieri’s pizza, no one needed to leave the event for dinner. Nearly 30 volunteers and several bakers, all sporting Waynestock shirts, worked hard to make sure the event was pleasing for everyone. Even young members of the congregation got in on the action.

“My favorite thing is selling the Waynestock T-shirts,” Maddy Jones, 9, said.

DaysApart took the stage as the evening rolled in. The band of four, led by Nick Hickman, traveled to Waynestock all the way from Nashville, Tenn.

Local singer Lori Triplett also traveled from Nashville to entertain her hometown. Triplett sang songs from her latest album, “Safe Place to Land,” which was on sale with other memorabilia in the lobby.

Harlend brought heart-thumping sound to rock the crowd into the night. Matt Sawmiller, Justin Mackey, Zach Harmon and Brandon Suever entertained with some of their original songs like, “Places” and “Leave it Alone”. After brief technical difficulties, they even joined with Triplett for an on-stage collaboration.

“The church looked for something new and different to bring people in,” Jacobs said, “We hope for it to be even bigger and better next year.”