Hundreds attended Christ Lutheran Church’s 21st annual Harvest Festival on Saturday donned in their best Halloween costumes.
“It went really well,” said Robin Hyland, the church’s connections coordinator. “I think we estimated about 700 people in all, which is a record for us.”
Each year, parishioners make the event their own by hosting various family-friendly activities, such as storytime, balloon animals and face painting.
“We think it’s a great way to invite people to enjoy our campus,” Hyland added. “We just like being able to treat people from around the community and let them have a fun night with their families.”
In addition, the event included a chili cook-off, pie-eating contest, pony rides, food and a raffle, all of which were free for those in attendance.
“We live just down the street, so we try and stop by every year,” Valencia resident Sam Links said. “Every year, it seems to get better and better, so we’re definitely going to keep coming. The girls love it and are at that age where this is almost more fun than trick-or-treating.”
This year, Candy Meyer won the chili cook-off with her chili made from leftovers, which was the first of its kind in the competition’s history.
Lucy Cooper’s family of five were all dressed as superheroes, which she said was her oldest son’s idea.
“We’ve tried to get a family theme going for a couple of years, but this is the first time we’ve actually pulled it off,” she added, laughing. “The boys like it best because then they get to run around blaming all the chaos they’re creating on the fact that they’re superheroes.”
The Coopers also said they enjoy attending the festival, which gives them an opportunity to celebrate Halloween together, as Lucy and her husband both work on Halloween night and won’t be able to take their kids trick or treating.
“They’ll still go trick or treating with grandma, but we don’t get to see them all dressed up and excited,” Cooper said. “There are so many unique activities each year (at the festival), which makes it that much more enjoyable for the kids.”