Free Christian music festival draws in thousands of attendees

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The hills were alive with the sound of music and laughter at Memorial Park Sunday evening.

We head to the 33rd annual Hills Alive - Christian Music Festival.

Saturday's rain forced the concert to end early, but on Sunday thousands of people came back to enjoy the last day of Hills Alive.

Throughout the weekend more than 60,000 people planted their lawn chairs and opened their ears near downtown Rapid City.

Twelve Christian bands performed at the festival, entertaining audiences who came from as far as Canada.

One staff member hopes anyone who attends this event grows stronger in their faith.

This is the 14th year the festival had no admission charge, and they say it's made quite a difference in attendance.

"There's a lot of people that just come that probably would never be able to afford to come with their family to a Christian music festival where they charge tickets $75 or $100 a piece. It's just a great thing that this community collectively offers up to our region because they're the ones that help support this to make this possible without an admission charge," Tom Schoenstedt said, Hills Alive producer.

Schoenstedt says they wouldn't be able to make admission free without generous donations.