Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Churches organize religious, non-traditional Halloween festivals

Donna Buddock, far left, takes a picture of her daughter Sage Buddock, 9 and a friend Maggie Cunningham, 6, at the pumpkin patch at Ridge Manor United Methodist Church last Saturday.

LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN | Times

Donna Buddock, far left, takes a picture of her daughter Sage Buddock, 9 and a friend Maggie Cunningham, 6, at the pumpkin patch at Ridge Manor United Methodist Church last Saturday.

Several local churches are making sure children, and even adults, can have fun in a safe environment while celebrating the season with Halloween alternatives.

Ridge Manor United Methodist Church has partnered with Damascus Mission Faith Outreach to offer a fall festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.

Children's activities include scarecrow making ($10 donation), hayrides, a bounce house, face painting, pumpkin painting and photo spots.

According to event coordinators Joanne and Ron Ritz, the food prepared by S.O.S Famous Bar-B-Que, available for purchase, will be the highlight of the festival.

"My mouth is watering already," Ron Ritz said. "The barbecue, with chicken and rib dinners, slabs of ribs, sandwiches, sides and homemade desserts like sweet potato pie will be available from 11 a.m. until they are sold out."

Another new feature of the festival is the collection of food for the homeless. Visitors are urged to bring canned or dry goods.

The church's pumpkin patch, where pumpkins of all sizes are for sale from 50 cents or more, is open daily from 9 a.m. to dusk (noon to dusk on Sunday) through Friday and will conclude with a Trunk or Treat for children from 4 to 7 p.m.

The church is at 34350 Cortez Blvd. in Ridge Manor. Call (352) 583-3770.

Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church will offer a free carnival-type program with games, prizes, goodies and face painting. The theme is "Heroes Unmasked."

The fun starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Krysher Hall. Costumes are welcome.

"There will be lots of fun. Come and see if you dare to solve 'the secret of the empty tomb,' " says a press release for the event.

The church is at 2301 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill. Call (352) 683-2010.

Christian Life Assembly of God will present its annual Harvest Fest from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday.

"This will be a time of family fun, including exciting games, inflatable activities, food, clowns, candy and prizes," said senior Pastor John Hensel.

There will be a drawing for door prizes. Admission is free.

The church is at 13065 Jacqueline Road, just north of State Road 50, in Spring Hill. Call (352) 597-1139.

Another Harvest Fest will be hosted by Spring Lake United Methodist Church, 4191 Spring Lake Highway, Spring Lake. The free event will run from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday and will include food, inflatables, a maze, games and a Trunk or Treat for candy. Call (352) 799-7028.

Spring Hill Calvary Church of the Nazarene, 235 Cobblestone Road, Spring Hill, will host "Seek and Shine Night" from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

"We will host Trunk of Treat for families who are looking for a safe, non-scary environment for their kids," children's Pastor Alicia Thompson said.

Thompson said the event is interactive.

"The Gospel will be presented in a new way," she said. "Our main verse for the evening is from Matthew 5, Verses 15 and 16, 'Don't hide your light. Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your Heavenly Father.' We want to illuminate our minds to shine brighter in our dark world."

In keeping with the theme, each child will receive a glow stick and a laminated pumpkin prayer puzzle.

"The goal is to receive candy and a puzzle piece at each trunk so that we can find the Christian jack-o'-lantern together," Thompson said. "He is much different than all the other pumpkins, and he shines for a better purpose, out of love."

The event is free, but Thompson requests that people bring a can of food for the hungry.

"We really need to stock our food pantry," she said. "We want to help our community with some food."

To participate by decorating your vehicle's trunk or by donating candy, call Thompson at (352) 397-5197.

Journey Fest 2008, a contemporary Christian youth and music event that features rock music and is billed as a "warm, friendly and fun environment for youth and their families," kicks off on Friday afternoon with "Hardcore Halloween."

The event will benefit its host, the Sertoma Youth Ranch, on Myers Road near Spring Lake. Gates open at 2 p.m., and the music begins at 5. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

The fest will continue through Nov. 2 and features groups such as the Newsboys, Story Side B, Manic Drive, the Glorious Unseen, Urban D, Burden of a Day, This Day On, Among the Thirsty and Regret and Forgive Again. Local and regional bands will also perform — more than 35 bands will be showcased on multiple stages throughout the fest.

On Saturday, gates open at 10 and the music starts at 11 a.m. Sunday will be a day of praise and worship with times to be announced. The event will also feature Christian-oriented vendors with concessions available for purchase.

Tickets for Nov. 1 are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. The cost to attend both Friday and Saturday nights is $35. Nov. 2 performances are free. Tickets can be purchased at www.clicknprint.com or by calling toll-free 1-800-370-2364.

For information about the concert, visit www.JourneyFest.org. For information, visit www.Sertoma YouthRanch.com.

Another Christian concert will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Inglesia Pentecostal Arca Evangelica, 15531 Cortez Blvd., west of Brooksville. Youth X-Plosion 2008 will feature area performers such as Fuego and Ice, Rody, Alexis, G.I. Joe, Testimony, Mesianico, Shake Tha Ground and Yariel and Omy. The concert, now in its fifth year, is organized by the church youth. Free food will be available, and there is no admission charge. Call (352) 442-5218.

There will be a free Kid's Karnival from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 2 at Spring Hill United Church of Christ, 4244 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.

The outside event will feature cotton candy and popcorn as well as inflatable jumping toys, a ring toss, face painting and a fish pond. For those who are older, there will be bocce ball and a putting game. The carnival is one of the church's outreach events to families in the area and will be held regardless of weather. Call (352) 683-4870.

Churches organize religious, non-traditional Halloween festivals 10/24/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 27, 2008 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Entrance lanes close on eastbound I-4 in Plant City following semi crash

    Accidents

    An eastbound entrance lane to Interstate 4 is blocked Tuesday morning following a semi crash, according to broadcast reports.

  2. Gov. Rick Scott could soon be the all-time king of line-item veto

    Blogs

    2016: $256,144,027

    2015: $461,387,164

    2014: $68,850,121

    2013: $367,950,394

    2012: $142,752,177

    2011: $615,347,550

    Only once has Scott used the line-item veto sparingly. That was in 2014, the year he ran for re-election, when he removed a paltry $69 million from the budget.

    Gov. Rick Scott waves a veto pen at The Villages in 2011.
  3. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon

    Blogs

    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  4. Resignation of communications director Dubke could signal more changes within White House staff

    National

    WASHINGTON — Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director, a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, in the first of what could be a series of changes to President Trump's senior staff amid the growing Russia scandal.

    President Donald Trump speaks at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 29, 2017, during a Memorial Day ceremony. [Associated Press]
  5. Trump pays somber tribute to fallen troops on Memorial Day

    National

    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed the nation's "boundless" gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice paid by Americans defending the United States, dedicating his first Memorial Day address as commander in chief to a top Cabinet secretary and two other families who lost loved ones.

    Brittany Jacobs, left, watches as her 6-year-old son Christian Jacobs meets President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. Jacobs father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, was killed in 2011. [Associated Press]