This past Saturday, February 15, visitors to Disney California Adventure were taken to church, as the Disneyland resort held their 5th annual Celebrate Gospel event. Held inside Stage 17 in Hollywood Land (which, once upon a time, held “Who Wants to be a Millionaire: Play It!”), the day was filled with performances from 15 different choirs and groups from all over Southern California.
For the event, two stages were constructed (one large and one small) to keep the music going. Speaking of the music, the groups styles ranged from more traditional gospel to jazz, r&b and even hip hop— sometimes even in the same group! One thing all the performers had in common was passion which showed greatly as they performed to enthusiastic crowds.
Apparently new this year was a “Gospel History Walk”, which amounted to an eight panel display chronicling the evolution of gospel music as well as it’s inspirations and attributions.
Of course, with gospel comes religion, which can be polarizing. However, in the tradition of Candlelight Processional and Night of Joy (although the latter is a hand-ticketed event), the performers were free to express their beliefs and even elaborate on the messages of their songs.
Overall, the event appeared successful, and proved another great use for an under utilized piece of park real estate. Look for this event to return next February.