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UMC fall festival is this weekend

COAL GROVE — It takes a small army of volunteers — and a heart for community service — to turn one ordinary Saturday each Fall into a smorgasbord of family-oriented activity.

The fifth annual Memorial United Methodist Church’s Community Fall Festival will be 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday on the church front lawn.

“We have several hundred people (attend) throughout the day,” church member Linda McKnight said. “They come and go. They come for the free food and the music, too. We pull in a lot of people from the area who don’t go to our church but want to be able to come and have a good time.”

There will be a pig roast, turkey and dressing, soup beans and corn bread and cold drinks. Those who have lots of room in their tummy may enter the watermelon-eating contest.

There will also be the annual cake and pie bakeoff, with the church’s finest culinary artists showing off their confectionary skills. Judging will be at 11 a.m. Pre-registration is required and may be made by calling (740) 532-5610 or (740) 533-0357.

The festival features live music as well: country gospel singer Wally Christian will perform at 12 p.m., followed by the contemporary group Alloyed at 2 p.m.

There will be games for all ages and a dunk tank. There will also be a health fair.

Church members will prepare and serve the food, man those games and maybe even take a turn in that dunking booth. McKnight said 30-35 congregation members will volunteer their time to make the festival a success. The church asks for little in return: Donations are welcome and accepted but those who bring no money are welcome anyway.

“We just want people to know we care about people and of course we care about their souls,” McKnight said. “We want to reach out and enjoy people and have them enjoy us.”

The fall festival will be rain or shine.