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Christian music festival cancelled for 2017

WILLMAR, Minn. — Sonshine Festival, the Christian music festival which got its start in Willmar, has been cancelled for 2017, according to the festival’s website and Facebook page.

A message posted to the festival’s social media account said due to financial reasons the festival was being put on hold for this year, while the organizers look into possible solutions for future festivals.

“We are praying and working diligently to seek what the future of Sonshine will be,” the message said.

Sonshine started on the campus of Willmar Community College in 1982 by Bob Poe, Linda Westberg and Gary Crowe. In its first year it drew 1,800 Christian music fans. At its height the festival would bring an estimated 20,000 people to Willmar.

Also citing financial reasons, the festival was moved from Willmar to Somerset, Wisconsin in 2015. At the time Poe and organizer Come Alive International said the festival needed a larger population base to draw from, in a hope to make the festival financially stable.

A Sonshine Festival took place at the Somerset Amphitheater in 2015 and 2016. Now fans and supporters are hoping to see the festival return in 2018

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