South Hills Fall Festival celebrates community

By Danielle Johnston

Hundreds of families and neighbors gathered Sunday for the 6th annual South Hills Fall Festival.
The festival took place on the single road running between South Hills Christian Church and South Hills Elementary School. Attendees dressed in elaborate Halloween costumes, played games, “trunk or treated,” and took selfies with Super Frog. There were also bounce houses, face painting, Kona Ice, and a demonstration by the Fort Worth Police Department.
The festival was created by members of the South Hills Christian Church and South Hills Elementary School as a safe place to celebrate Halloween within the community.
Senior Minister of SHCC, Dottie Cook, said the festival initially began when the elementary school was unable to have a carnival due to construction on their playground.
“They couldn’t have a carnival, so we said how about a street party between the school and the church,” Cook said.
The festival lined up with the church’s new initiative, Fifth Sunday Service.
“We had begun the practice of once a quarter, in months that have five Sundays, to use that last Sunday as a day to be at service in our community,” said Cook. “We do a variety of things. It just worked perfectly that for the first Fall Festival, Halloween fell on a fifth Sunday.”
Don Tatlock, the community minister of SHCC, was in charge of this year’s planning committee. The committee included SHE staff, SHE PTA, and McKinney Bible Church members.
“With a close partnership and relationship with SHE and SHE PTA, the festival is a way for the community to visit with SHE teachers and administrators in a fun environment,” said Tatlock. “It is also an opportunity to fundraise for activities by selling food and beverages.”
SHCC Media Coordinator, Nathaniel Cook, said the event was just one of the ways that SHCC lives out its mission statement of having a strong commitment to the community.
“When we put on an event or do mission work we understand and celebrate that not everyone who participates is going to believe or think the same way that we do, but the beauty in that is that we are all doing the work of the church together,” said Cook. “By working together with the people in the community, we are able to build a stronger relationship and do ministry together.”
Cook said he has attended the festival for many years and loves being a part of the joy that comes with it.
“The Fall Festival is an event for the community by the community where food, fun, and gathering together is what it’s all about,” said Cook. “Really, the Fall Festival is like a block party, and who doesn’t like a block party where, no matter what, you are welcome and loved.”

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