Hope Fest

What a great day of fellowship and fun we had at Hope Fest 2011 sponsored by Hope United Methodist Church in East Flat Rock, NC.

Hope Fest is an outreach held at the East Flat Rock Park to love on the community in Jesus Name.  It is free to everyone and the love and smiles from the church to each and every person who came was so evident.

The church transformed the park today with tents, 3 inflatable bouncy units including a bouncy castle with a slide, a bouncy train with mazes, and huge bouncy slide.  They also had a dunk tank, face painting, food, drinks, snow cones, school supplies, and door prizes. 

Upon arriving they had each child register their name for the door prize drawing.  They also had the parents sign they were there in case they left before the door prizes, they could know where to send the prize later. 

They also gave each family a booklet called “What On Earth Am I Here For?” by well known Christian author Rick Warren.

The first thing my children wanted to experience were the bouncy inflatable contraptions.   These inflatables were a huge hit.  They were constantly busy with lines of kids enjoying them.

This is the bouncy castle with a fun slide.

This is a bouncy train with a maze to navigate inside.

You can see the steeple of the church just beyond the playground.

This is the bouncy high slide that was so much fun.  My kids could not get enough of this.

They enjoyed it front ways and back ways.

Next, it was the dunk tank.

After hearing him carry on…..even I tried my hand at dunking this fella.  His name is BERT and boy did he egg the crowd on.  To every young boy who stepped up to dunk him he would jeer and call out  “you can’t throw, did grandma teach you to throw, you throw like a girl, etc.”  Well that did it.  I was the first “girl” to step up and I said, “I am a girl, so what are you going to say now?”  I hit the bullseye, but it did not drop him!  But not long after that, someone did drop him!  He was teasing all the boys again saying that the old ladies on the sidelines could throw better than the boys were throwing, and one lady decided to let him have it.  She walked right up to the bullseye and hit it….with her hand!!!  It was a very funny moment!

This dunk tank was busy the whole time during the festival.  It was a super big hit!  One of my boys successfully dunked 5 times, and another one was able to dunk 3 times.  I didn’t know they had such good aim!

There was also three bins of sand set up for children to scoop and filter and find buried treasure.  Two small bins sat on the ground, and one big bin sat up on a table.

This was another favorite hangout for lots of children of various ages today.  They found money, rings, stones, shells, mighty beans, glass beads, marbles, small playdough containers, and more. 

Then it was time to break for lunch.

Lunch consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, and chili dogs with all the fixings. 

They also served chips, and a variety of drinks.

We were so hungry by lunch time.   It was so nice to sit down for refreshments and take a break from all the fun.

While we ate, we enjoyed this wonderful Blue Grass Band.  They played for most of the festival and it was very enjoyable.

After eating, the first thing the kids did was get their face painted.  This was a first for our family.  We have never had our faces painted before.  But the children were thrilled with the whole experience today.

Three of my five children wanted to get it done.  The children were able to pick out faces from a big book.  These two chose to be pirates!  Arrrgh!

Even the adults were getting their faces and “body parts” painted.  This was one of my favorites.

After lots more bouncing, jumping, sliding, and digging, the kids enjoyed a snow cone to cool off. 

The face paint kind of came off the more the kids played and sweated.&n
bsp; My son looked about as colorful as his snow cone. 

Then it was time to pick up our school supplies.  Hope Fest had school supplies divided into three different grade level groups.  K-3, 4-5, and 6-high school.

The kids were each given a goodie bag and they were thrilled!

Door prizes were drawn for each grade level through-out the day.  They gave away wonderful door prizes. 

One of my children heard their name called, and it was like Christmas!  We all clapped and cheered.

Our family celebrated at Hope Fest from 11 am to 3:30pm.   I am sure those putting on this festival spent many hours planning, working, organizing, and more to prepare for this fun event.  I just want to say “Thank You”.

It was a great day!  It was a great festival celebrating the end of summer and children returning to school, and a special message that  “Jesus Loves You”.

This was such a great event the church sponsored to bless and serve in our community in Henderson County, NC. 

If you would like to visit Hope United Methodist Church they are located just across from the park at 2443 Spartanburg Highway   East Flat Rock, NC 28729

How Do You Celebrate The End Of Summer and a New School Year beginning with your kids?  Please leave a comment below, thank you.

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