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Christian Music, OneFest returns to Chippewa Falls this weekend

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Matthew West, Crowder, Sidewalk Prophets, Mac Powell and others will perform at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls this weekend at the Christian music festival OneFest.

In 2016, Heather Flashinski had an idea. One that would eventually blossom into a large Chippewa Falls Christian Music Festival. The Cadott farmer said she felt compelled to begin OneFest and build it from the ground up.

“I loved music festivals and I loved Christian music. So I thought, ‘Why is there not one in the area? Let’s see what we can do,’” she said. “I did a lot of research and asking questions. And it turns out that when you start asking questions, people start getting excited.”

As soon as Flashinski started inquiring about the logistics of festival planning in the region, people started emailing her to ask how they could be a part of her team.

“They wanted to help do it or were excited to have me put it together. Whatever the case, we had people stepping up,” she said. “A team of five started off the group and then we grew. Now we’re up to 54 on our planning team — an all volunteer group.”

They created a nonprofit organization in 2017. The majority of 2017 was spent building relationships, creating the non-profit entity, and beginning fundraising efforts. Finally in December 2017, a leap of faith was taken to start sending offers to artists, she said. In 2018 they announced the lineup and hoped that fans would respond.

They had their first festival in 2018. This festival — Friday through Sunday — would have been their fifth OneFest but the pandemic shut down year 2020, so this will be the fourth festival in five years.

“I was very blessed with passionate founding board members that first year, who were very dedicated,” she said. “Plus a great support system was created with volunteers willing to step up and lead the charge.”

By all accounts OneFest has been a big success. Every year offers new artists, vendors and worship opportunities.

OneFest is a “musical ministry.” Its first priority is to create a family-friendly event where all are welcome to sing aloud and praise God.

Since it is a relatively new organization, the organizers’ second priority is for this festival to continue to be a huge success.

“We are praying that OneFest can become sustainable, allowing this ministry to become an annual event with proceeds reinvested back into the Chippewa Valley community,” she said.

Flashinski said she and other organizers try to offer a balance of different genres of music. They want to make sure that everybody has something that they’re excited to be a part of.

Each year they showcase two feature organizations as well. This year OneFest is featuring Chippewa Falls’ Hope Village and Eau Claire’s First Position Dance Foundation.

Check out the OneFest home website — one-fest.com — to learn more about this year’s organizations and bands.

What to know before you go:

Tickets are cheaper when you purchase them in advance but you can buy them at the gate. Pricing is available on the website.

Overnight camping space is available through onsite campground sites. Limited sites are available for the extended weekend.

Youth games, outdoor sports (8square, volleyball, and more) are open to everyone. Mini Golf and other lawn games are all included.

No outside food or drinks are allowed. Alcoholic beverages will not be allowed at this family friendly event. Water, soda, sports drinks, and other non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

All parking is general parking at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair grounds. Friday and Saturday parking cost is $5 per vehicle per day and can only be purchased at the main gate. Sunday parking is free.

Cameras are allowed but remember to leave your selfie sticks and drones at home. Professional camera equipment including detachable lenses 6-inches and longer, tripods, monopods, etc. will not be allowed. Unauthorized video cameras will not be allowed.

All clothing needs to be appropriate for a family event. Clothing with potentially offensive messages or double meanings or advertisements for adult-themed products are prohibited. Shirts and shoes are required at all times.

In case of storms, local emergency services will inform organizers if severe weather is approaching. Listen to stage announcements for instructions. Depending on the severity of the storm, onsite fair grounds buildings may be opened up for shelter. Do not remain near the main stage or grandstand bleachers, as they are mostly metal.

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