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Winchester Road Baptist Church shifts gears on fall festival

Like so many events this year, the coronavirus has forced changes.

Posted: Oct 24, 2020 11:41 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2020 1:17 AM

As the holiday season nears, the CDC is saying fall celebrations will likely need to be different this year in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Some events are already changing. The Winchester Road Baptist Church holds an annual fall festival, but the coronavirus has caused the event to shift into a different gear this year.

"We're calling it a fall drive-thru,” Donna Williams, children's director at Winchester Road Baptist, said. “Basically, it does come down to a trunk or treat, we have several church members that are getting together with us and setting up and going to reach out to the community."

Williams said the fall festival is generally one of the churches largest outreach events.

"This year, it kind of didn't happen the way we had hoped,” she said, “so with that, we were looking at ways we could reach the community -- the kids."

Williams said after some thought and prayer the group decided that a drive-thru festival would be the best and safest alternative this year.

More than a dozen cars spread out across the parking lot and decorated their trunks with displays in the church's typical fall festival style.

Of course, candy was also distributed -- with some participants finding interesting and wacky ways to hand out the sweet treats.

"The people will not be getting out of their vehicles. When they come through, we will guide them around, the individuals in the vehicles will be passing out the candy with different means,” Williams said. “Some are using fishing lines, some are using gloved hands and mask, again so yes we're out to try to protect everybody that will be participating."

The response to the event could be seen immediately, with long lines of cars flowing into the parking lot and even backing up to the street.

While the event is not quite what it had been in years past, participants like Terrie Gipson say anything they can do for the kids is worth it.

"We wanted to at least give them something, you know. And so this was an alternative, I think it was a great idea that our children's director came up with and I'm always willing to be a part of things like that,” she said.

While the event wasn't necessarily halloween focused, the holiday is just a week a way and this year the CDC says many traditional halloween activities can be high risk for spreading viruses and recommends lower risk activities like virtual costume parties and scavenger hunts with members of your own family.

Things like traditional trick or treating, haunted houses and other indoor events are among those the CDC is recommending people avoid this year.

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