23 Jan 2011 Beast Feast marks 10th anniversary
The event has grown from an attendance of 500 in its first year to 2,500 expected in 2011.
“We really attribute that to God,” said Chris Green, the event’s chair. “We’ve tried to remain faithful to our cause, the reason we do Beast Feast.”
“We feel that there’s a message out there that needs to be heard,” Green said. “We provide a fun, entertaining evening for these guys to come and feel that they’re going to have a good time, be entertained and get a great message. We’re trying to reach our community, our men.
“Ultimately, the message is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
But he was quick to reiterate that Beast Feast is not a “churchy” event.
“A lot of guys, if they think they’re going to be preached to, won’t come,” Green said. “The speakers we hire are from the real world, guys you see on the Hunting Channel; we’ve had a (vice-president) of Chick-fil-A; we’ve had Gov. Mike Huckabee.
“They don’t come and get preached at. They come and get entertained.”
Last year’s speaker was comedian Brad Stine.
Because of the growth, it’s been sort of an itinerant event, moving from the church to such sites as the old Wal-Mart at the Conway Towne Centre to the old Spirit Homes building on Dave Ward Drive, among others. But the opening of the Expo Center should mark Beast Feast’s permanent home.
Green said the crowd’s age runs from 5 up.
“We encourage guys to bring their sons; we want dads to bring their kids, grown kids to bring their dads, sons, uncles, nephews, buddies from work,” he said.
Although it’s aimed at Faulkner County men, the event has drawn attendees from Florida, Tennessee and Texas as well as all over Arkansas.
An addition last year was Beast Feast Feeding the Hungry, a food drive leading up to the event.
“We were able to collect 36 big cases of food that we distributed between Soul Food Café and Bethlehem House,” Green said. “We’re doing that again this year.
Each nonperishable food item donated is worth an entry for a special door prize.
Beast Feast tickets are $20. The day will begin with an expo with vendors of outdoor-related equipment, furniture and clothing, among other things, opening at 1 p.m. Doors for the dinner venue will open at 3 p.m.; the evening activities will begin at 5.
There’s a place setting for every man for the dinner that will feature smoked pork tenderloin, potato salad, baked beans, bread, dessert and drinks.
Besides the meal, there will be door prizes galore.
“Glenn Crockett is our prize master,” Green said. “He collects things all year long to give away. We’ll give away 1,000 door prizes.”
In addition to randomly generated numbers attached to various prizes in advance, other prizes will be given following Dravecky’s speech.
“We’ll give away rifles, shotguns, fly fishing trips,” Green said. “Last year we gave away a four-wheeler, and we may do that this year. We’re teetering between a four-wheeler and a boat. But there will be a nice grand prize valued at well over $5,000.
“Plus, every guy when he comes in will get something from us. Last year everybody got a hat, and we’ll do something like that this year. So even if you don’t get a door prize, nobody walks out of there empty-handed.”
The day costs organizers about $33 per person, so obviously, they rely heavily on local businesses to pull off the event. Green said anyone interested in partnering with the church should call Second Baptist at 501.327.6565.
“One thing we want to make sure that everyone knows is that this is not a fundraiser,” he said. “There’s a misconception since it’s advertised that we’re raising money for the church, and that could not be further from the truth.”
Tickets went on sale Jan. 13 at Second Baptist. Whatever tickets are left will be available at the church office or online at www.beastfeastarkansas.com.
But don’t wait too long.
“We’ve sold out the night they were released before,” Green said.