20 Years of service to the community!
Take a look back:
2001 Marked the year that all proceeds went to charity.
The festival originally had games and tents along the walkway behind the Sanctuary. Bouncers were placed along the side of the parking lot. If you look closely on the right you'll see the handmade playhouse on a trailer. It was the first raffle ticket prize.
The big circus tent out front was introduced in 2004.
In a move to give more visibillty to the festival a large tent was rented for use in front of the buildings. Smaller tent and bouncers were placed on the front lawn and side yard.
Each year local community charities received funds generated by the festival.
At the end of each year checks were presented to the sponsored local charities. Over the course of the festival's 20 year run over $280,000 was given to charities. Community support given from the community.
The hayride was always popular.
Each year Houma Tractor & Equipment donated the use of a tractor to take our hayride around the church grounds out back.
A History of Community Service
In the year 2000 the church had a lot of property
repairs and little money to do them. A fund raiser
was conceived for the fall. Our first fall festival.
Conducted with little fanfare and behind the
Sanctuary the festival generated some needed repair
funds for the church.
By the year 2001 God had blessed Grace with financial growth and stability. It was decided that we would share our blessings by giving all festival proceeds to charities. One of the first local charities to partner with the festival was the Terrebonne Churches United Food Bank. They have been associated with the festival every year.
The basis for a selection of a charity to be a recipient was that they provide a need to the public. Housing, prescription drugs, basic food needs, special needs child care, child advocacy, women's advocacy, were all supported by the festival throughout the years.
Around 2004 the festival was growing and needed exposure so the event was moved out front of the church. Community involvement was increasing and the big top tent was introduced. Covering the front parking lot, this 40'X100' tent gave shade and weather protection that was needed for food and music. It also provided an easy entry point to the Fellowship hall. Inside the Fellowship hall the rummage sale was held. 3000 square feet of air conditioned space was filled with second hand donations. Every year the trash and treasures were collected from church and public donors. At the end of the event the leftovers were gathered and donated to local charities. Donations became so abundant that a midyear "Christmas in July" sale was instituted, further funding the festival.
Music was always a vital part of the festival. From the Fellowship hall to under the big tent to a stand alone stage under its own tent, music filled the air every year. Mike Cape played and coordinated the many Christian bands that appeared on stage.
Food is always a foundation for any festival. The original "Elders Shack" providing food and drink evolved into our large food court. A wide variety of grilled meats and sandwiches along with delicious sides and cold drinks were sold each year under the big tent. Inside the Fellowship hall and around the big tent, delicious treats and snacks were availiable.
Games and bouncers were placed around the grounds. Designed for child entertainment the games also gave out prizes to the kids delight. Creative design and setup kept everyone involved very busy trying to make the atmosphere a family one.
Crafts for kids were always availiable. From quick and simple to artistically challenging the children always had something to do to keep them busy.
An every year staple was the bingo tent. Sometimes moved inside, it entertained and rewarded participants. Many people went home with one of "Lola's Treasures".
Another staple was the hayride. An open trailer filled with hay and happy kids made its way around the rear acerage of the church. Houma Tractor & Equipment donated the use of a tractor each year to help make this ride as authentic as possible.
Many other elements were added or removed each year. Pony & horse rides with a riding demonstration, local crafters lining the driveway, animal adoption display, local radio coverage ( thank you Gumbo 94.9 ), emergency medical technicians; young marines parking attendants, and those that escape memory. We can only say a hearty well done!
Over the last few years as volunteers became fewer and attendance dropped we came to the conclusion that the festival may have run its course.
For 2020 we will not hold the large one day event. Lesser complex events and efforts will be persued to help the local charities.
Well done HOUMA! & THANK YOU!!!