• December 28, 2014

Lots of fall festivals, Halloween alternatives

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Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 4:30 am

Local churches are providing the community with alternative events to traditional Halloween activities, allowing families to join in on the fun without the more controversial aspects of the holiday.

Hallelujah Festival is Saturday at Comanche Chapel at Fort Hood from 2 to 6 p.m.

“Biblical and fun costumes are welcome,” said Stacey Wilson, religious education coordinator for the garrison chaplain’s office. “During the festival, we will have a Bible time and talk to kids about why we don’t practice the scary aspects of Halloween.”

The event will be carnival-style, with games, popcorn and cotton candy. It is a safe alternative to walking door to door, Wilson said. Children can put on costumes and still enjoy the festivities of harvest time.

The Killeen First Church of Nazarene will host its annual Harvest Fest from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. The event is in coordination with Maxdale Cowboy Church and Westside Baptist Church. Organizers ask that attendees bring canned foods to benefit Jesus Hope and Love Ministries. Festival events include a petting zoo, pony rides, rock climbing, bounce houses, hay rides and a trunk-or-treat.

“There will be every type of candy you can imagine,” said Emily Moore, the pastor’s wife.

First United Methodist Church’s Revolution youth group is hosting a free, community trunk-or-treat from 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday by the church’s pumpkin patch.

“We want it to be a safe, family alternative,” said Vince Sharp, director of youth ministry.

Concessions will be sold, pumpkins can be purchased and there will be a hayride. Costumes are encouraged.

Faith Point Church hosts a fall festival on Halloween from 6 to 8 p.m. Open to the community, there will be a number of local agencies giving out candy, including the mayor, who will be in the dunking booth. Attendees can participate in bounce houses, a jousting pit and sumo wrestling. There will be a pet parade, so families and pets are encouraged to wear costumes.

“We don’t celebrate Halloween,” said Pastor Cecil Bowles, “but this is a time when families are out and about ... we offer a controlled, secure family environment.”

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