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Beginning with prayer: RiverFest opens with Faith & Family Night

PORT NECHES — The faithful rejoiced, lifting hearts and voices upward as Port Neches RiverFest opened with Faith & Family Night on Wednesday.

Encounter Church Praise and Worship Team had the crowd on their feet giving an energetic show.

Roland Garcia, who attends Encounter Church, was one of the fans, dancing and singing with the music while across the lawn Ruben Arajujo, wife Randee and their baby Xaiden sang along.

Ruben and Randee Araujo with baby Xaiden attend Faith & Family Night at Port Neches RiverFest on Wednesday. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Faith & Family Night is the brainchild of Shana Burt, who is a member of the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce and RiverFest committee member.

“Look around, this is a testament to the unity of Jesus Christ,” Burt said while looking at the crowd of hundreds.

Almost 20 local churches were at the event and some, she said, canceled their normal Wednesday services to attend Faith & Family Night.

Many of the churches had food booths and lines were long early in the evening.

Roland Garcia moves to the music during Faith & Family Night at Port Neches RiverFest on Wednesday. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Heather Fletcher and daughter Carissa Thomas walked around the entertainment complex and festival grounds, Fletcher remarking how she liked seeing the different churches participating and raising money.

The Rev. James Lee of Landmark United Pentecostal Church and his wife Tammie sat together at a picnic table as crowds moved around nearby.

“This brings people of all faiths together,” the pastor said when asked what he thought of the event.

Christian musician Jordan Feliz was the headliner of the night.

RiverFest continues Thursday through Sunday at Port Neches Riverfront Park.

Dustin Shelton sings along with Encounter Church Praise and Worship Team during Faith & Family Night at Port Neches RiverFest on Wednesday. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Thursday, May 2

  • 5 – 10 p.m. — Wagner Carnival & vendors open. Wristband Night sponsor: Philpott Motors
  • 6 p.m. — Kids T-shirt Contest winners announced, pavilion
  • 6:30 – 11 p.m. — Entertainment complex open
  • 7 -8 p.m. — Thomas Teague, Riverfront stage
  • 8:15 – 9:30 p.m. — Pug Johnson, Riverfront stage
  • 9:45 -11 p.m. — The Big Show, Riverfront stage