Having a Fall Festival is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship and fun. Done thoughtfully, it becomes a tool for community building and a great on-ramp for those looking for a church. A committee of volunteers can easily put together a fun afternoon or early evening event. I plan two to three hours for the event and include food, games, crafts, stewardship, outreach, and additional activities.
Food: Ideas for easy providing of food include inviting a few food trucks, grill hamburgers and hot dogs with pot luck sides, or have a chili cook-off.
Games: Carnival games are always a hit. Ideas are Bean Bag Toss, Ring Toss, Duck Fishing, or a mix. Host a Scavenger Hunt with a list of people to get their names (great for interactions). Ideas include a vestry member, someone wearing purple, a clergy person, someone two years of age, etc. Give out award medals to those who complete the hunt.
Crafts: A fun Fall event includes a Pumpkin Painting or Carving Contest Use paints or stickers and have a table to display them Another idea is to have a “ Create an Ad” Poster Contest Posterboard, markers, paint, and pencils are all that is needed Display the finished products in the Parish Hall theme ideas of “Why I Love My Church” or “My Church is the Place to Be” help inspire ideas. I, always, have sidewalk chalk on hand to inspire the little artists
Stewardship or Outreach: After deciding on a project, we announce the goal in services and publicity for the festival. We have collected can goods for the food pantry For every canned good or $1 given, the person got to through a ball for a Dunking Booth we had staff take turns in the Dunk Booth
We have set goals for stewardship and when they are achieved, the rector got a whip cream pie in the face.
We set jars out for people to put money into and the staff person with the most money gets water ballooned.
Other Activities: Children love face painting. Our youth, usually, volunteer to do it.
A Fall Festival encourages community and fellowship. Our parish looks forward every year to our annual event.
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