Creation Festival Northwest will have dozens of bands and solo acts, multiple stages, a crowd of thousands -- just like any big music festival.
But it will also feature a lineup of pastors and inspirational speakers, a kids zone and a prayer tent set up near the main stage.
The tent "is staffed, I think, pretty much from early in the morning until everything is done here," said intern Maria Mickelson.
The event, which kicks off its four-day run in Kennewick today, is one of the largest Christian music festivals in the country. It's expected to draw 15,000 to 20,000 people to the Benton County fairgrounds and generate an estimated $360,000 in visitor spending and economic impact.
Creation Northwest, part of a larger family of similar events and festivals, has been held in Enumclaw and at the Gorge Amphitheatre in years past.
Michelle Harrington, 43, of Benton City, promptly grabbed tickets when she learned this year's incarnation would be in Kennewick. She'd wanted to attend the 2013 festival on the west side but couldn't make the logistics work.
She'll be joined at this year's event by her son Michael, 13, her boyfriend, Justin Smith, and his son Brandon, 16.
"The boys are super excited. They've never been to a music festival before, let alone one this big," Harrington said, adding that she sees it as "a really neat way to get together and worship and celebrate together."
Harrington and her crew have their itinerary mapped out -- the bands they want to see, the features they'll make sure to check out. There's plenty for them to chose from.
The lineup includes artists from Switchfoot and Newsboys to Manafest and Tedashii. Mark Driscoll, an author and founding pastor of the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, is among those scheduled to speak.
Katrina Ingham, 34, of West Richland, said the speakers are a special part of the event. She and her husband, Mark, attended part of last year's Creation and were particularly moved by one of the messages they heard.
They'll catch some of the festival this weekend. Ingham also is attending one day earlier in the week with her mother-in-law.
To her, Creation is fun, a blessing -- with an important message. "The real point behind it all is the Gospel, the Lord," she said.
While some locals like Harrington and Ingham will commute from home to the festival, plenty of Creation-goers will camp out on site or at Two Rivers Park in Finley. Shuttle service is available.
Dozens of tents already were set up by late Tuesday morning, along with several RVs. The Parker family from Alberta, Canada -- Mike and Jeanette, three of their teenage kids and a family friend -- sat outside their RV, eating lunch on a break from their volunteer work in security and public safety. The Parkers are Creation veterans; this year's festival is their fourth.
They keep coming back because, "with all the various genres of the Christian music, everybody is happy," Jeanette Parker told the Herald.
"The kids meet the same kids coming here every year, and they meet new people. It's fun. They're playing Frisbee at 10, 11 o'clock at night and meeting new friends," she said.
Mike Parker likes that the festival provides a safe environment and a chance to give back through volunteering. "The total experience is enjoyment, and the opportunity to serve God," he said.
Tickets still are available. A one-day pass is $58, a two-day pass is $85 and there are full-event commuter and camping rates.
For details, including the full schedule and ticket information, go to www.creationfest.com.