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.
Other game ideas include Bingo (with fun prizes), Cornhole, and Four Square. Everyone loves games using cut pool noodles.
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 Bounce House is always fun. I invested in one because renting can cost about $400. Click here to see the one I bought
A Fall Festival encourages community and fellowship. Our parish looks forward every year to our annual event.
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