Christian festival celebrates 10th year

Shenandoah Valley Coalition for Christ will provide a weekend of free food and entertainment at the 2015 Family Fun Fest at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

For the festival’s 10th anniversary, it will condense down from a weekend event to a single day because of reliance on volunteer efforts. Executive Director Sharon Hollar said that many event volunteers have to work double time for a nonprofit as well.

“This is all run by volunteers, so by the end of the weekend everybody’s exhausted,” she said. “It is not possible without the volunteers and the donations.”

Partners of the festival have contributed toward providing free food, games and activities at the festival, and free admission makes the whole day a low-cost family event. A few vendors like local Boy Scouts will be the only ones selling concessions.

Skyline Street Rides will help host the festival’s car show and Shenandoah Valley Christian Riders will help host the spirit ride. Registration for cars and motorcycles at either event will be $15 and can be filled out online or starting at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at the event.

“The money that we raise for the car show we actually divvied up and gave back to the nonprofits that were there for the day,” Hollar said. “It is totally given back to them.”

Donations will be accepted at the event, and the American Red Cross will hold a blood drive. Valley Health will offer free screenings, and Hollar said there are still a few spots open at the free CPR class, which doesn’t offer certification but does give participants a free T-shirt and CPR kit.

Kids will also get to show off their Halloween costumes a bit early at the Sweet Treat Lane from 3 to 4 p.m. – no contest-winning required. Costume or no, children will be able to pick from a 100-pumpkin patch for their own personalized decoration to take home.

Last year’s cold weather meant around 2,600 came out for the festival, but Hollar said this year’s numbers might be higher given some warm sun. Attendees can write their information on the back of a printed ticket for a shot at a door prize raffle, but no ticket is required for entry.

For those wanting to enjoy some free activities and food, Hollar said the festival creates an inviting atmosphere to get involved.

“The real meaning behind it that people are very intimidated sometimes to join a church or join a nonprofit,” she said. “This is a very open way for people to see how you really act out in public…without your church face on.”

IF YOU GO: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School, 1251 Susan Ave. in Woodstock. Admission is free. For more information and to donate, call 540-335-3939 or visit http://tinyurl.com/p53bmep.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com