Festival of Hope expected to bring huge crowds to Bartow Arena

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – It’s going to be a busy weekend in downtown Birmingham. The Greater Birmingham Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham will be going on all weekend at Bartow Arena.

Several Christian musicians will take the stage. Dennis Agajanian started performing in 1974 with Billy Graham’s Crusades and now he tours with Franklin Graham’s Festivals.

“It grows, it keeps growing he was in the Ukraine just a few weeks ago and he had over 40 thousand people there,” Dennis Agajanian said.

The people at UAB who manage Bartow Arena say they are ready for the crowds. They won’t know exactly how many people are going to show up every day because it’s a free event, with no ticket sales to go by.

They are however expecting a huge turnout based on how popular the Festival has been in other locations.

“We expect the full arena based on events in Toronto and other locations where they’ve had this. We expect the arena to be full,” UAB Business Services Vice President Chris Clifford said.

Clifford says they aren’t complaining about the crowds, a large turnout would only be good for the city and the school itself.

“You know we’re fortunate to have this here and I think we’re beginning to use it in more ways than just athletic events; so it’s wonderful to see people to come on campus and see what we’re doing here at UAB,” Clifford said.

Clifford suggests anyone going to the festival give themselves plenty of time because traffic will be extremely heavy. Parking is also limited around the venue. They have 10 parking lots set up. See the parking map HERE.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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