2017-08-10 / Living

Back to School Carnival a positive and growing event

810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com

The first 300 kids at the Back to School Carnival at Bethany Baptist Church August 12 will receive free backpacks. The first 300 kids at the Back to School Carnival at Bethany Baptist Church August 12 will receive free backpacks. BURTON — The annual Back to School Carnival at Bethany Baptist Church just keeps getting bigger and better each year! This is the fifth year the event has been held at the church.

“We’re doing this for our community,” said Rhonda Lasley, event coordinator.

The carnival will be held August 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Three hundred backpacks have been purchased by the church this year,” Lasley said. “Kids can pick out their backpacks at the carnival. They can also win school supplies such as colored pencils, crayons, pens, spiral notebooks, highlighters and scissors by playing carnival games there.”

There will be a golf game, in which kids hit a ball into a wooden house with holes. There will be another game utilizing squirt guns. Also, they can try to throw a toilet paper roll into a toilet in the toilet paper toss.

The high striker is another carnival favorite that will be offered, in which kids hit a hammer on a base as hard as they can to try to ring the bell.

“Kids like to see how strong they are,” Lasley said.

Another carnival activity will be the cookie and cupcake walk.

“It’s somewhat similar to musical chairs, but you walk around in a circle, and if you land on the right number, you win,” Lasley said. “The kids love it.”

Kids will even have an opportunity to dunk the pastor of the church’s son, Ricky Velez, into the dunk tank.

All together there will be seven or eight games.

An inflatable bounce house and inflatable double slide will also be available.

“Kids like to jump, but the slide seems like the big hit,” Lasley said. “Both are rented from Funtastic Inflatables.”

Pastor Rick Velez and his wife, Ruby Velez, will be there to meet the community.

Attendees can get free hot dogs, chips, drinks, sno cones and cotton candy.

“We want to make sure everyone is fed,” Lasley said. “It gives that fun theme of a carnival.”

Lasley said the Back to School Carnival is such a big event at the church, it takes 50-60 people to put it on.

“It’s definitely a team effort,” she said.

Earlier in the summer, people affiliated with the church canvassed door to door handing out 1,500 bags with fliers in them describing events the church was presenting over the summer, including the Back to School Carnival.

Lasley said the carnival was first held at the conclusion of the vacation Bible school because the church wanted a party for the kids o came to Bible school.

“We’ve added more games, more activities and the food,” she said. “Now, we invite the community.”

The first year of the carnival, 185 backpacks were given away. Last year, 272 were given away. The church is planning its largest backpack giveaway yet this year.

“Last year we had 400-450 people, including parents,” Lasley said. “This year we’re planning for about 500. Education is important to the church.”

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