Religion

MGM Park to be site of OctoberFest Celebration of Gospel Music on Oct. 31

Williams Brothers
Williams Brothers

BILOXI -- MGM Park, home of the Biloxi Shuckers, will play host to the OctoberFest Celebration of Gospel Music on Oct. 31. Gates for the event will open at 11 a.m., and the music starts at 5 p.m.

The festival is the first gospel music show to be held at the ballpark, which officially opened in June.

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"I was contacted by Patrick Bass, who is on one of the local gospel radio stations, and he said they were interested in doing an outdoor gospel show," Overtime Sports CEO Tim Bennett said. "We've been working on this for several months."

The popular gospel act The Williams Brothers will headline the festival. Other acts scheduled to appear include Dottie Peoples, Paul Porter, James Bolton and Helen Miller and Vashawn Mitchell.

The Williams Brothers are based out of Jackson. The group has been nominated for several Grammy and Dove awards. Bennett said he believes they will appeal to gospel music fans on the Coast.

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Their 1985 album "Blessed" went to No. 1 on the gospel album chart.

"We have a lot of groups coming in, but The Williams Brothers are the headliners," he said. "They have a great local draw because of their long history in Mississippi."

The event also will include activities for children, inflatables and the stadium's concession stands will be open during the festival.

When plans were unveiled to build the stadium for minor league baseball, Bennett promised to bring a wide array of entertainment to MGM Park. He said the gospel music festival is an example of the diversified entertainment he plans to offer.

"We have an MMA fight, a gospel show and the Flo Rida concert over the next three weeks," Bennett said. "That's three different weekends with three different genres. These events will pull three different crowds of people. It's what we want to do at MGM Park."

Tickets for the gospel festival can be purchased at the park's box office. Tickets range from $20 to $40.

"We have the box office open every day from 11 to 5 for the next two and a half weeks so that people can purchase their tickets in person," he said. "This cuts down on the Ticketmaster fee. It's one of the ways we are trying to make the shows more affordable for the people that want to come. You can also save a little money by purchasing the tickets in advance instead of the day of the show."

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