Thousands expected for Exclaim Christian festival

Matthew West

Exclaim 2011, the region’s largest free outdoor Christian music festival, will held on Sunday at The
Monsignor Schmit CYO Athletic Complex, 555 S. Holland-Sylvania Road, Toledo. This is the second year for
Exclaim, and it features Grammy-nominated Matthew West as its headliner. Last year’s inaugural event
drew 3,500 attendees. Major sponsors for Exclaim are Medical Mutual and the Toledo Catholic Diocese.
West will perform at 5 p.m. Joining West will be Britt Nicole, another popular Christian artist, and John
Angotti, a prominent Catholic musician.
Angotti will perform at 2 p.m. and Nicole at 3:30 p.m. Exclaim will also feature Rhythmic Grace at 1
p.m., a band that is the winner of the local talent competition.
Gates open at noon. Along with a full day of music, there will be plenty of food and non-alcoholic
beverages to purchase. Attendees will be able to walk through booths and get information from various
organizations and businesses.
Kids can enjoy huge inflatables, and there will be sports tournaments for kickball at noon, smushball at
2 p.m., and volleyball at 4 p.m.
Exclaim 2011 will conclude with a closing Catholic Mass at 7:30 p.m. that will be celebrated by Toledo’s
Bishop Leonard Blair, along with more than 25 priests from around the diocese. The Mass will feature a
60-member choir and full band performing many contemporary Christian songs.
"Christian music has become very popular, and Matthew West is one of the country’s most well-known
Christian artists," says Michael Puppos, Exclaim co-Director and the full-time Music Director and
Youth Minister at Blessed John XXIII Catholic Parish in Perrysburg. "We’re anticipating a crowd of
at least 5,000, which we can easily accommodate at the CYO fields."
Planning has been underway since last fall, and every detail has been covered. "We’re adding a Cool
Off Zone this year with a huge tent for shade because of our hot summer," says Puppos. "And
we’re expanding the food offerings as well. It’s a fun all day music event, and people can come and go
as they please based on their schedules. It’s family friendly … the admission and parking are
Puppos says there is plenty of parking at the CYO fields, and he encourages people to bring chairs and
blankets to enjoy the outdoor music in the well-maintained grass of the CYO athletic complex.
For more information about Exclaim, visit

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