Doug and Molly Palmer got to work setting up their tent at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick.
It was mid-morning Wednesday, and they had little time to waste.
The McMinnville, Ore., couple traveled to the Tri-Cities for Creation Festival Northwest, one of the largest Christian music festivals in the country.
It kicked off Wednesday evening and continues through Aug. 1.
The Palmers brought their three children, ages 1 to 13. They wanted to make the trip because Creation “has something for everybody,” Doug Palmer said.
The Palmers are among the about 10,000 people expected to descend on the fairgrounds for the event, which is part of a family of Christian music festivals.
The goal is to help people celebrate and grow closer to God, said Ben Comer, an executive director with the group that stages the events.
The Tri-City festival features some of the biggest names in Christian music, with Switchfoot, TobyMac and Lecrae headlining.
Pastors and other speakers also will aim to inspire festival-goers.
Natasha Tunnicliffe and Addison Falls traveled from Vancouver, British Columbia, to help out at and attend the festival.
Tunnicliffe is a youth pastor at Cedar Park Church and will have about dozen of her young charges at Creation.
“As a youth pastor, it’s great to have some time away with the kids. Their phones don’t work out here. It’s good to build relationships,” she said.
“It’s community building,” added Falls.
Creation Festival Northwest previously was held in Enumclaw and at the Gorge Amphitheatre.
It moved to Benton County last year.
While it brought in thousands of people and generated thousands in visitor spending, it also led to noise complaints from fairgrounds neighbors.
Comer noted that noise levels were within the allowed threshold last year.
But steps are being taken this year to help, including a new sound system, he said.
Kennewick officials also are monitoring noise levels differently.
Tickets still are available to this year’s Creation.
Full event passes are $45 for youths and $110 for adults; one-day tickets are $59 and two-day tickets are $112. A $15 buddy pass deal is available for July 31.
Children ages 5 and younger are admitted for free.
Tickets are available online at www.creationfest.com/nw and at the gate.
Camping passes also are available.