From the moment the sun was rising on the group of volunteers who showed up early to help setup the first ever Fall Festival 5K, it was evident God was providing a warm and sunny Fall morning perfect for the race and the festival to follow. It was a far cry from our first Fall Festival the year before that we had to cancel due to the frigid rain and sleet.
As the 5K participants arrived the 135 preregistered grew to 168 participants in the Fall Festival 5K Fun Run/Walk. For perspective, for our first ever 5K, the company we contracted to help with the race told us not to expect more than about 100. Our participants were rallying in support of Allie Doell, the 17 year old who had cancer and is still undergoing treatment. As part of the race registration, $5 for each participant went to the Doell family along with the additional donations given that day. We had racers of all ages…from stroller to grandparents…joining in to support the cause. Once it was time to start the race, I guess you could say it got off to a rolling start. Pastor Ralph took the lead right out of the gate by falling down and rolling across the street. Don’t worry, he was fine. It made for great video that you can see on the church Facebook page. The race went from the church, through the neighborhoods by Heritage Elementary School and around Holt High School and then back to the church.
When the runners arrived back at the church, they and the others that joined us enjoyed food from food trucks and vendors like Just 1 Taste, Fire and Ice, and Duke’s BBQ. We had JoyFM and DJ Scott Anthony there playing music and helping us with giveaways. Every 15 minutes during the festival someone that registered won a prize from a local business that donated to the Fall Festival. The children enjoyed going around to the various games like knocking down cans, bean bag toss, knocking over clowns, getting their picture made with motorcycles and inflatables, all while filling out their punch cards in an effort to get the prize at the end…a full size candy bar. In all we had over 250 children participate in the Festival, and obviously many parents, grandparents, and loved ones were with them.
We’re thankful for the many ministry teams that contributed to the Fall Festival whether that was in advance or on the day of the event. It was an incredible opportunity for our church to provide a family friendly event where we could make connections with our community! We’ve already had families attend our church after making a connection with us at the Fall Festival. Pray with us that in the days ahead we’ll be able to make further connections with these families and ultimately have a gospel conversation with them! Also, look for opportunities in 2019 to get involved in the Fall Festival!