It’s hard to not get excited about what’s going on in El Paso, Texas this week.
On April 5-6, The Greater El Paso Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham will be happening on the campus of The University of Texas-El Paso.
Just not exactly as originally planned.
Over the past few weeks, the Lady Miners have made things a little interesting. In a 13-day span, the UTEP women’s basketball team has reeled off five consecutive wins—including Wednesday night’s 66-63 victory over South Dakota State—and all five in front of the faithful support of the home crowd at the Don Haskins Center.
That’s right—the same Don Haskins Center scheduled to host this weekend’s Festival of Hope.
So, with a conflict of two events at the same venue on the same day—the WNIT Championship between UTEP and Rutgers is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET)—Franklin Graham has offered to give his full support to the UTEP team and move the Festival to an outdoor location on the UTEP campus.
The new location for Saturday night’s Festival is Glory Field, just north of the football stadium. Sunday night will move back to the Don Haskins Center.
“We want everyone who has been a part of planning this Festival, including more than 200 area churches, to also be a part of UTEP women’s basketball,” Franklin Graham said. “We had to find a new place for our Greater El Paso Festival this weekend, but we were happy to help accommodate this exciting event.”
And to celebrate the Lady Miners’ March Madness run, Franklin Graham is offering free pizza to the first 1,000 students who come to Saturday night’s Festival.
“He’s thrilled that they won,” said Ken Barun, BGEA’s Chief of Staff. “Franklin is making every possible accommodation to move our Festival and encourage us all to cheer on UTEP at their game and then come to our Festival later in that day.”
The Festival of Hope begins at 6 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET) Saturday (doors open at 4:30) and includes musical guests Thousand Foot Krutch, Flame, Funky and a message of hope from Franklin Graham.
Sunday night’s lineup includes Michael W. Smith and Daniel Calveti. Both nights will also include performances from Mariachi Isai and the Joshua Chavez band.
The bilingual event will include translation into Spanish from the stage.
Can’t make it to El Paso?
You can still join the Festival of Hope via our live webstream at BillyGraham.org/Live.