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Sonshine 2012 under way in Willmar, Minn.

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR --The Sonshine Festival has begun.

The first musical performance of Sonshine isn't until 5 p.m., but campers are already arriving, setting up tents and wandering the grounds.

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The four-day Christian music festival, which starts today and runs through Saturday, will draw close to 20,000 people to the Willmar Civic Center and Willmar High School areas.

Many have already staked tents and introduced themselves to their neighbors. Some threw Frisbees in the field or set up volleyball nets and invited neighbors to join them for a game. Others just visited with family and friends under their canopies.

It just depends on your personality, said Warren Justice of Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada. Some like to wander around and visit, others like to sit and relax.

Justice sat by his tent visiting with family members, while watching his neighbors play a game of volleyball.

"It's the fine art of relaxing," he said.

Jacob Vigessa and Kyle Hornbacher of Bismarck, N.D., also preferred to hang around their tent, which they set up in front of the Civic Center.

They sat in the shade playing an intense game of War, while Kyle's brother Nick Hornbacher sat in the tent.

Others were more ambitious and staked out spots for the performances later today.

Diane Bakker of Willmar laid out a tarp in front of the main stage with her son James, 11.

I would normally just bring chairs, but more family is coming this year, she said. That's one unique thing about Sonshine, she said. "You can actually leave your stuff and it'll be safe."

Whether Sonshiners were visiting with friends or playing games, most agreed that Sonshine has a safe and friendly atmosphere.

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