Canby Youth Ministries Plan Carnival-Style Event, Concert at Fairgrounds

Four local Christian youth ministries and outreaches, along with a half-dozen Canby churches, have teamed up for a first-of-its-kind event and hip hop concert at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds this Saturday, dubbed Surge: A Canby Youth Experience.

According to Canby Young Life Area Director Nick Coleman, the free, carnival-style event will include food trucks, a climbing wall, bounce house obstacle course, video game stations, zorb balls, nine square and gaga ball.

Headlining the show will be Seattle-area recording artist and youth ministry leader Mike Davis, whose stage name is Red.Culture (short for “Redeemed Culture”).

“We’re just going to have some good, clean fun,” Coleman said. “Our philosophy with Young Life — and a lot of the youth ministries and guys we work with in town as well — is that one of the things we want to do is show that you can have a ridiculous amount of fun, doing good, clean stuff. It’s going to be outrageous and a place for all kids to have fun and be together.”

Coleman said Surge has been in the works for years, as the leaders of groups like Young Life, The Canby Center, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Youth Dynamics — along with local youth pastors — have sought various ways to encourage and support one another.

“We’ve kind of been dreaming about, what would it be like to do a true, all-city youth event?” Coleman explained. “Something where we brought every kid, every youth in Canby and just threw a big party?”

Coleman said the event will also include some big-ticket prizes given away through raffles along with other entertainment from the main stage. It will wrap up with a gospel-themed message.

One of the main goals is to share information about the various ministries with which students can be involved during the rest of the school year — and help Canby youth connect with one another in new ways.

“Part of it is just a fun get-together with a group of kids we’ve all been interacting with each week in different ways,” Coleman said. “We see it as a chance for kids to say, ‘Oh, you go to this church,’ or ‘You go to that youth group. I didn’t know you did that.'”

Local churches who are involved with the effort include Bethany, Christ the King, Canby Christian, Canby Alliance and Canby Foursquare. The event is focused on sixth- through 12th-grade students.

The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby. Coleman said organizers are not sure what to expect for attendance but are hoping for hundreds. The outdoor event will be covered due to the threat of rain.

For more information, visit

Cover photo by Richard Clyborne of Music Strive, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!