An Afternoon for God, An Evening for Country
Standing on-stage, riling the crowd of the 53rd annual God and Country Festival, official event emcee Kevin Miller of the Kevin Miller Show on KIDO Talk Radio stood in a relatively unorthodox stance.
He held the microphone in one had while he spoke into his cell phone in the other.
Suddenly, Miller's voice emerged from the speakers of the outdoor amphitheater at the Ford Idaho Center. The crowd erupted as Miler and KIDO blared from the speakers in a synchronized soundtrack to the upcoming fireworks display -the longest running in the Treasure Valley.
"DO YOU LOVE AMERICA!?" Miller screamed at the crowd, his voice omnipresent.
This small moment of unification, on-stage to air waves, likely unimportant and unrecognizable to the lay-person, spoke volumes as to the message of David Ferdinand's God and Country Festival.
Throughout the day, various speakers and musicians and elected officials spoke on the love of country, and their unity through their faith.
Governor Brad Little gave a short speech before announcing a number of State legislators in attendance. Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling then introduced a quorum of Nampa City Council members.
"How lucky are we to live in a place guided with God," said Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling, reflecting on the unification of God and Country in the Gem State as a whole.
The feelings from the stage emanated into the crowd; leaving the subterranean amphitheater feeling more like a family gathering than one of the largest and longest standing annual special events in the Treasure Valley.
"This is like a year reunion for us," KTVB's recently retired reporter Dee Sarton said to the crowd, referring to her former colleague Carolyn Holly and KIDO's Miller.
Later in the evening, Kentucky-based 7eventh Time Down sent the younger (and some of the not so much younger) attendees into a fervor with their mix of contemporary christian rock mixed with engaging religious social messages.
"I've been thinking a lot lately, and as much as we need to know what we aren't, these days, we need to take pride in who we ARE. Jesus once told us, 'come as you are,' and I'm going to need you to find someone who doesn't look like you, doesn't maybe dress like you, and hug that man, buy that girl a cup of coffee, recognize them as a human who you respect, who both love your country," 7eventh Time Down lead singer Mikey Howard said.
Shortly after 10 p.m, as fireworks erupted overhead, thousands of proud Idahoans stood staring to the sky, for more than one reason.