Sep 30 2011
PALO ALTO – Local residents and people from surrounding areas ventured to the Bacon Street Park on Sunday to enjoy fall festival activities.
Children painted small pumpkins, had the opportunity to have their faces painted and tossed ping-pong balls into small glass bowls. they also tossed balls into cupcake tins for a chance to win prizes, jumped inside a bounce house and participated in crafts and sports.
Hot dogs, soup, cupcakes and drinks were available – free.
The event was orchestrated by the Palo Alto Mennonite Church.
“We did it last year as a celebration of 60 years in the community” and the pastor of the church thought it would be well received again this year, said Elizabeth Kleckner, event coordinator.
Last year, about 100 people attended. This year, she estimated at least 150 – a 50-percent increase – took advantage of the festival that went from 2 to 6 p.m.
Not everyone who volunteered for the festival or participated in the activities was a church member. Everyone was invited, Kleckner said.
Paul Riegel, a church member, spoke about the importance of attending church to people who had gathered under a canopy.
The event was a “good time to fellowship and visit with your neighbors you don’t see,” he said after his talk.
Hope Fena, 6, of Port Carbon, was busy with other children painting a her small pumpkin.
Children could dip their small brushes into a variety of colors – blue, purple, red, white or black – and decorate the small signs of fall.
Fena picked white because, she said, it’s her favorite color.
Her mom, Kimberly Lindemuth, 32, of Port Carbon, said they attended last year’s event and her daughter didn’t want to leave.
“It’s something for the kids to do instead of getting in trouble,” Lindemuth said.
Nikki Plachko, Pottsville, and her daughter, Lexi, 10, enjoyed the events.
“It’s a great thing that they’re doing,” Nikki Plachko said.
Lexi painted the word “Halloween” on her pumpkin.
One of the game winners was 7-year-old Jewel Silfies, Palo Alto.
Holding a goldfish in a clear plastic bag, Silfies seemed happy. she also won two stuffed smiley face toys, something the children could win depending upon the color of the bowl or cupcake tin their ping-pong ball landed in.
“It’s fun,” she said of the event.