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Church fall festivals are a good way to avoid the traditional idea of Halloween while still allowing children and adults to celebrate and enjoy the expected fall sugar rush.
How to Plan a Fall Festival for a Church
Make a list of the things you would like to do at the fall festival, such as "Trunk or Treat," dunking booths, cake walks and crafts. The more activities there are for children and parents to participate in together, the more likely parents will be to come and bring the children.
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Put together a team to help you plan and run the festival--this should be done at least a month before the festival. Your church's youth director may like to be a part of the team, or suggest someone else to help organize older youth to help run games. Also invite Sunday School teachers from younger grades, so that they can give you ideas on things that are popular and age-appropriate.
Choose a date for the festival. Check with different church departments and find out if they have events scheduled that might detract from the fall festival. Halloween is a good choice for a fall festival as parents may feel safer taking their children to a church for candy rather than taking them door to door. Or maybe the children want to do more than just collect candy.
Delegate responsibilities and keep tabs on them with weekly meetings. As you go about delegating games and activities, make sure that the delegations fit the personalities. Ask your pastor to make an announcement during a Sunday morning church service seeking volunteers to help with different projects, and invite all church members to participate in "Trunk or Treat."
Set up the festival the day before if possible and do a "dry run" of all the games to make sure they work properly and that they aren't set up too close together.
Walk around the festival as much as possible to solve problems and to make sure everything is going properly. Also introduce yourself to visitors and make sure they know they are welcome at the church.
"Trunk or Treat" is usually held at a church to allow children to go from car trunk to car trunk gathering candy. Plan for 100 or so more participants than you expect to have.