Desoto County NewsFaith and Family

Olive Branch welcomes Light the Way

Photo: The Light the Way Festival opens a two-day event at the Olive Branch City Park with Big Daddy Weave as the featured artist on Friday, July 5. (Bob Bakken/

July 5 – The holiday celebration in DeSoto County continued Friday night as Olive Branch welcomed the first day of the two-day Light The Way Festival at the Olive Branch City Park.  

The Ozark, Missouri-based ministry returned to Olive Branch after an initial festival last year inside the track and field section of the park facility. In addition to the festival, Light the Way’s calendar also has a three-night revival at its Missouri home base, plus concert events that include artists Josiah Queen, Steven Curtis Chapman and Big Daddy Weave. 

Mike Weaver of Big Daddy Weave sings at the Light the Way Festival in Olive Branch. (Bob Bakken/

It was Big Daddy Weave who was the featured artist group Friday night, providing an inspirational 90-minute set that featured many of the songs that has made the group among the most popular in contemporary Christian music the past 25 years.  

Also taking the stage Friday were the Eastpoint Church Worship Team, plus artists Tasha Layton and Stephen Stanley. The festival began Friday afternoon with special recognition of Olive Branch resident and World War II veteran K.T. Robbins, who took the stage to be saluted one day after his 103rd birthday on July 4.  

The night led up to the climax of a huge fireworks show set to music that lit up the sky around the park. The fireworks show Friday and again to take place on Saturday replaces the traditional Fourth of July fireworks the city puts on each year. City officials were urging those who wanted to watch the fireworks to be inside the park as it was planned to have the fireworks not as high as in the past.  

The Light the Way Festival is a free community event dependent on donations and sponsorships.  Food trucks are available for purchase. Alcohol is not allowed, as are recreational vehicles and animals not allowed on the site. Canopies are not allowed but umbrellas are OK. A clear bag policy is in effect and coolers are allowed, but will be checked at the gate. 

The festival continues on Saturday with the Great Commission Worship team, along with artists Britt Nicole and KB. The featured artist group for Saturday will be We The Kingdom and fireworks will again complete the evening.