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Gospel Music Festival Announces Choir Battle, Headliners For 2013

Gospel Festival

Chicago Gospel Festival (File Photo; Credit: CBS)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The city’s Gospel Music Festival will have a new wrinkle when it gets underway in late June.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports this year’s festival will feature a gospel choir competition, with regional winners going head-to-head at Millennium Park on opening night, June 20.

The grand prize winner will perform on June 22 on the main stage in Ellis Park in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

Organizers are calling this year’s festival “The Year of the Choir.”

“New this year, we are doing a battle of the gospel choirs. It’s our inaugural battle, and we are taking submissions for that now through May 7,” program director Ivy Hall said.

Headline acts this year will range from traditional gospel groups to hip hop-flavored songs of praise.

“We’re going to have Vickie Winans, Tamela Mann, Lecrae, John P. Kee & New Life, and Smokie Norful,” Hall said. “Then on Sunday, we are happy to have another exciting lineup with Joe Ligon and the Mighty Clouds of Joy.”

The festival again will be based in Bronzeville, with performances throughout the day on Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23. But it will kick off at Millennium Park on June 20, and also include events at the Chicago Cultural Center on June 21.