How did Lifest come about?
1990: Life Promotions started an event called Lifest, although it looked nothing like what it does today. It was a 5K run/walk held at Alicia Park in Appleton, Wisconsin to raise funds for Bob Lenz and Life Promotions to travel the nation speaking in schools, churches and at other events and festivals. Lifest included walks/runs for youth as well as adults, and often had some kind of comedy show for the participants’ enjoyment. How could a simple run raise money? After registering, each participant was given a pledge card. The runner would then go out and collect pledges from people in their community, and bring any money raised to the event . For each “milestone” amount of money raised, the participant would receive a special prize from Life Promotions.
1999: Lifest made some major changes. In addition to the run/walk held at Alicia Park, a Christian music festival was added to the event itinerary. Held at the Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the new event structure provided participants with entertainment as over 60 acts performed over the course of 3 days, on 4 different stages, making Lifest Wisconsin’s largest Christian music festival! Some of the bands included The Supertones, Third Day, dc Talk, Rebecca St. James, Michael W. Smith, Switchfoot and Superchic. Other activities included camping, comedians and an area designated just for children. Thus the Lifest that we know and love today was born!
2004: Lifest experienced its largest attendance with more than 17,000 people at the event! By this time, Lifest had stopped holding the run/walk and had grown into a 4 day event, with over 150 acts on 7 different stages! Headliners on the Grandstand this year included Newsboys, Third Day, Audio Adrenaline and Jars of Clay.
2011: Lifest recorded its second largest attendance with over 16.500 people on the grounds! This year, Lifest went “back to its roots” so to speak as it reincorporated a 5K run/walk into its already activity-packed schedule. Grandstand Headliners this year included Newsboys, MercyMe, TobyMac, Skillet and Lincoln Brewster.