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North Shore church holds annual Harvest Fest

November 6, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

For the past several years, the North Shore Alliance Church at 330 W. Mariana Ave., has held Harvest Fest every Halloween to give children and their families a fun, safe place to go instead of trick-or-treating in the dark.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people came to the church, many of them in costume, to enjoy the fun the church had to offer for this 19th annual event without banging on the doors of strangers.

Pastor Tim Richter holds the event every year as a gift to the community. Everything was free.

Article Photos

From left, Keilani, Bella, Madison, and Sophie Lozano dress up as characters from Alice in Wonderland at Harvest Fest at the North Shore Alliance Church on Halloween.

CHUCK BALLARO

"It's a nice gift for everyone. We want everybody to have a safe place for their families and kids for Halloween, so we have a bunch of stuff inside the church and out," Richter said. "We don't have to advertise very much. We topped off at 900 last year."

There were places for the little kids to go trick-or-treating on the grounds, they could climb a wall and enjoy an old-fashioned hay ride. In the church, the main area was transformed into playground, with bounce houses, a hot dog dinner for nearly everybody, and many games upstairs including ring toss, face painting and much more.

Vickie Saez was among those working to make this night special, serving up hundreds of hot dogs and taking them from those in the back cooking them.

"We love talking to people and seeing them enjoy themselves. They can have a good time without being on the street," Saez said. "They can come and everything is free."

Among those who couldn't beat the price was Randall Stevens, who has adopted five children and is currently a foster parent to three more. He brought the entire clan. He and his wife were dressed as Ghostbusters while the children were ghosts (and the baby was the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man).

"It's for the kids to enjoy a safe environment. We've taken the kids here every year. We decided on Ghostbusters because everyone can enjoy it and be a part of it," Stevens said. "There's plenty of things for them to enjoy."

Tatiana Evans, 8, was in costume and having a blast, and was going to do some trick-or-treating after Harvest Fest with her sister, Suriyah, 9. Both liked the bounce houses, but the mom, Antenille Alvarez, liked the outdoor activities.

"There is a hayride and a climbing wall, and it's a great way to start trick-or-treating. I know this is a safe place for the kids to come," said Alvarez, who dressed as a tourist, complete with floppy hat.

For more information, visit www.ns-church.org.

 
 

 

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