Preparation for 20th annual Lifest is underway

Lifest's new grand stand stage Monday, July 9, 2018. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- One of the nation's largest Christian festival begins later this week.

It's the 20th annual Lifest event, held in Oshkosh.

With some rope, measuring tape, and sticks and hammers, volunteers at Lifest are working hard.

"We got here last Thursday and we've been setting up the camp sites," explained Lifest camp director, Joseph Ledger. "We have over 3,000 campsites on Sunnyview Expo Center."

Ledger said it takes about a thousand volunteers to make the event happen every year.

"There's very few full-time staff with life promotions that are actually here," said Ledger.

Festival director, John Dougherty told FOX 11, the camp sites will be split into 2 sections this year.

"Some security things that allows us to streamline traffic going all the way across the grounds. It keeps people kind of closer to the camp grounds," Dougherty explained.

Doughtery, expects about 25,000 people to attend per day. That's up 10%t from last year. He said sales are projected to climb, too.

"We expect all vending's and all those types of things to go up proportionally as well, but ticket sales and camping sales are about 10 percent from last year," said Dougherty.

Dougherty also said with the new grand stand stage, quality will improve.

"We're able to enhance the sound systems and video systems we're able to put on it. Again, it's bigger, larger, so we can accommodate bigger equipment, so the band can bring bigger stage sets."

Now that the grand stand is permanent, Dougherty said it saves about 4,000 work hours.

And it's hours that Ledger said, can now be used to serve people in other ways.

"It's just a great family-friend event where people can come and praise God," said Ledger.

FOX 11 is a sponsor of the event. Lifest is expected to have fireworks on Saturday. It's the first time in 10 years, since the event put on a firework show.

The event runs from Thursday to Sunday.

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