The Gahanna Youth Council promises this year's TeenFest will be bigger and better than ever, with more entertainment and a wider selection of culinary delights.

The Gahanna Youth Council promises this year's TeenFest will be bigger and better than ever, with more entertainment and a wider selection of culinary delights.

The TeenFest will be held from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Shull Park, 236 Granville St. The event, in its seventh year, includes a battle of the bands, food vendors, video-game competitions and skateboarding and bicycling demonstrations.

"There will be way more food and bands this year," volunteer Megan Shea said.

Youth council member Lianne Castile said she saw a lot more interest by bands in this year's festival versus previous years.

"We learned a lot last year," she said.

In an effort to promote the event, teens made a radio commercial, placed advertisements on Internet sites and promoted the event at Gahanna Lincoln High School.

Youth council member Lia Crosby said this year's event will include Nashville-based band Shi Rock. The band has its own CD and clothing line. One of the band members is a Gahanna native, Crosby said.

Teens also thought it was important to have more food this year, with vendors offering funnel cakes and all things fried.

Shea said Danny's Deli and Bellacino's will return this year. Bellacino's will sell prepaid gift cards, and 20 percent of proceeds will go to the youth council.

Unlike in previous years, this year's TeenFest will not include a juried art show. Instead, teens will host an art show in November.

Shea said participants could place their mark on a giant canvas painting at the festival. They also will have an opportunity to paint the front of the festival T-shirt, she said.

This year, an emphasis has been placed on including more teen groups. Groups participating from Gahanna Lincoln High School include the Lionettes, DECA and National Honor Society. All groups may set up booths to raise money, volunteer Christa Hester said.

"They can give out some information and sell something to raise money," she said.

This year's event also includes a video-game competition presented by Rogue Gaming and demonstrations by Olde Skool Skateboard Shop.

Teen council member Taylor Glynn said she was looking forward to the bands and seeing the crowds. She became involved with the council after being encouraged by her best friend, Megan Shea.

According to Shea, the event gets bigger every year. Last year, she said, 22,000 teens participated.

Crosby said it helped having several members of the teen council return from last year because they could build on their previous efforts.

"We know what to do a lot more than last year," she said.

She said her public-speaking skills have improved, and she has learned how to handle rejection. One of the jobs of the teen council is to call local businesses and secure donations.

Shea said she learned how much planning goes into a big event. She said she can't imagine how much work must go into the Creekside Festival.

"I hope a lot of people come out and have a good time," Shea said.