As the temperatures dip and the leaves begin to fall, you may be beginning to plan your church’s harvest festival, church carnival, or trunk-or-treat event. These fall activities offer a fantastic opportunity for your attendees to connect with each other, as well as providing the community with a fun and wholesome experience to gather around.
We’d love to help you make your fall festival a success. Here are seven ways to elevate this year’s event!
1. Invite your neighbors.
Festivals and carnivals are the perfect way to invite the community into the life of your church. Of course, you’ll be promoting the event internally with your church members through handouts, announcements, and push notifications — but don’t forget to circulate some invites in the community, too! Here are a few simple ways to invite your city to join you:
- Give church attendees a few handout cards to invite friends, coworkers, and neighbors.
- Put a banner by the road outside your church for a few weeks leading up to the festival.
- Print door hangers to leave on the front doors of the neighborhoods closest to you.
- Purchase an ad spot on a few local radio stations.
2. Include local businesses.
As a church, partnering with local businesses is a great way to build relationships in your community. As you plan your fall event, consider hiring a local coffee cart or dessert vendor to provide some of the snacks, treats, or drinks for your festival. They’ll surely appreciate the support from your church, and everyone who comes to the festival will appreciate the delicious treats!
3. Give away prizes or treats.
If you’re planning a trunk-or-treat, everyone in attendance will walk away with plenty of candy. But if you want to bring a little bit of friendly competition into the mix, host a fun prize-winning game, too! This can be as simple as, “How many jellybeans are in the jar?” or as involved as a pumpkin carving competition with a first prize winner, but creating an activity everyone can enjoy together can function as a conversation starter and community builder.
4. Extend a Sunday invite.
While you have all of these new faces on your property for the first time, don’t forget to invite them to your Sunday gathering! A harvest festival is a great way to make visitors feel welcomed and comfortable. After they’ve attended a free event, they might feel more inclined to step inside the doors on a Sunday morning, so don’t miss the chance to invite them.
5. Offer a host of family-friendly activities.
When it comes to fun at fall festivals, more is more! Offer a variety of fun seasonal activities that will keep people at your event for longer, mingling and making friends. After all, the entire purpose of events like these is to foster new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Some popular activities you might like to try:
- Relay races
- Face painting
- Live music
- Pumpkin decorating
- Simple crafts
- Snacks and treats
- Corn hole or bocce ball
6. Offer a feast to remember.
If you want to truly take your festival to the next level, go beyond the simple sweet treats and offer attendees lots of delicious food! If it’s within budget, you can buy a spread ahead of time to offer for free. If you want to keep the costs down, invite local food trucks to join your event and let those who are interested purchase meals for themselves. Either way, great food always draws a crowd.
7. Involve your volunteers.
No great event happens without a great team, so invite your congregation to help! From bringing bags of candy and decorating their vehicles for the trunk-or-treat to baking goodies and hosting booths at the harvest festival, most people are just waiting for you to ask them to get involved.
If you’re looking for an easy way to sign up and organize your volunteers, the Church Base Community module was built just for you. Getting an event across the finish line with plenty of help has never been easier! Plus, our Connection module allows you to easily send reminders and push notifications to your entire church community, inviting them to the event and asking them to bring others along, too!
We created Church Base to help churches like yours — and using our software suite is completely free, forever. Get started today and see how Church Base can help!