HolyCoast: Rockport Gospel Music Festival 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rockport Gospel Music Festival 2010

It's time to recap my 12th visit to the Rockport Gospel Music Festival in Rockport, TX. The welcome was, as always, very warm, but the weather was very cold. We arrived within a few hours of an arctic blast of cold air that plunged local high temperatures along the Texas Gulf Coast into the mid-30's. The nights plunged into the low 20's, something that area is not used to.

I've got to give kudos to Southwest Airlines. This was probably the smoothest set of flights and connections we've ever had. Both our outbound and return flights from LAX to Houston arrived early, and our connections at Houston Hobby airport were only 1 gate away. We've often had to do lengthy jogs to make our connections in Dallas or Houston Bush airports, so this was a real pleasure.

And they didn't charge us for our checked bags. When you check seven items that makes a big difference in costs (not to mention the lower airfares).

We did have some concerns upon arriving at LAX on Friday morning when we saw the security line at Terminal One was out the door and well down the sidewalk. However, they had lots of security lanes open and we were able to get through in just a few minutes. Once inside things were pretty crazy thanks to all the Alabama and Texas fans who were trying to get home after the national championship game at the Rose Bowl the night before. The airport was crawling with burnt orange or red outfits of every kind.

We closed the program Friday night in front of a good-sized crowd in the high school auditorium. They either stayed because they wanted to hear us or because it was too cold to go outside. Here are a couple of shots of the group on stage:

Saturday is always a lot of fun, but it's a long, long day. Our hotel in Rockport this year made things a little easier by providing a great room, nice hot breakfast, and a view from the dining area that can't be beat. The Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay is the place to be. And you can even get a waffle shaped like the state of Texas:

Much of Saturday was spent just like this - sitting at the product table in the auditorium lobby and talking to the fans and other artists.

On Saturday night we sang again right before the host group, Rockport's Gospel Force, and because this was the Festival's 15th anniversary, we decided to have a special plaque made and present it to the group in honor of their hard work.

We spent all day Sunday at First Baptist Church of Rockport. We sang in both of their morning services, and then the final session of the Festival kicked off there in the afternoon. The church has some beautiful stained glass windows that make a nice backdrop for the group:

The program closes each year with the combined choirs from four local churches singing "Total Praise", a powerful song that really raises the roof. Here they are directed by David Fountain, the Festival's emcee.

As we were leaving for the airport we took one final photo with a fan at the hotel who has been at the festival for many years.

It was great fun but over way too soon. We'll be back there again January 7-9, 2011 and if you'd like to enjoy some great music and a wonderful town, make plans to join us.

The reports from previous years can be found here: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004,2003, 2002, 2000, 1999.

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