Christian hit-makers headline Miracles festival

STEWARTVILLE — Big Daddy Weave, the contemporary Christian band whose songs have topped the Christian music charts on four separate occasions, will headline this year's Miracles Happen Festival, July 24-26 at Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch.

This year's festival will feature double the number of activities and family-oriented events from previous years and is expected to draw more than 1,000 people, said Tracy Bashore, the ranch's director of operations and chairman of the festival.

"We're really adding a lot more activities," Bashore said. "We've really upped the number of family activities."

The carnival-like festival will include a field of inflatables, hot air balloon rides, a classic car show, airlift/NERF battles, petting zoo, wagon rides, pony rides, art fair and vendor displays.

This marks the seventh year of the three-day festival, which began in 2009 when work on Ironwood's Miracle Lodge, a retreat and conference center, was completed. The 27-room, all-handicapped-accessible hotel was built at half of the projected cost because of the thousands of man hours and materials donated to the project by volunteers and area businesses.


The ranch has run a national wheelchair sports camp every year for the last 30 years. Each year, it also hosts six "Operation Welcome Home" military retreats, where veterans and their families stay at the lodge for a weekend. As part of the ranch's tradition of honoring military families, the festival will hold a military tribute at 11 a.m. Saturday, featuring a military speaker and band and the presentation of colors.

Musical groups will perform throughout the three-day event. The group Render Band will kick off the festival on Friday. Big Daddy Weave will headline the event on Saturday. Including four No. 1 hits on the Christian charts, the band's song "Overwhelmed" was nominated Worship Song of the Year. More music, including the Living Hope Worship band, will close out the entertainment on Sunday.

Tickets cost $30 for adults, $20 for youth and is free for those 5 and younger. The proceeds will be used to fund the ranch's programs and operations.

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