St. John’s dresses up for harvest festival

Published 12:41 pm Friday, October 26, 2012

Children dress up for last year's Hallelujah Harvest Festival at St. John's Lutheran Church.

This Halloween, St. John’s Lutheran Church is bringing together everything children want in a holiday: candy, costumes and games galore.

St. John’s will hold its ninth annual Hallelujah Harvest Festival from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, the night of Halloween. Families are encouraged to attend for family-friendly games, prizes and treats.

All games at the festival will be based on Bible stories, said Karla Muller, the church’s donations coordinator who was involved in planning the event. The most popular one from previous years is called “Belly of the Whale,” and consists of small, dark tunnels to crawl through. A brand new game this year, a large walk-through maze, will fill an entire room. Children can enter on one side and find their way through to the other.

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The games cater especially well to children ages 3-12, she said, though a number of high school students have enjoyed the activities in previous years. About 140 children showed up last year, and with parents and grandparents include, about 350 people showed up throughout the night.

While some children make the festival a quick stop before they go out trick-or-treating, others like to stay the whole time. In light of the holiday, costumes are welcome, though organizers ask guests to avoid wearing anything scary.


A light dinner will be served from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. during the festival, along with other treats.

About halfway through the night, the church will draw door prizes, such as a free pizza from a pizza shop in town. Muller said local businesses have contributed a lot to the event, and the prizes are very well received.

Muller said the entire festival is indoors, which can be good for this time of year.

“That’s the nice thing about it,” she said. “Some years, Halloween can be rather nasty weather.”

While there is no admission charge to attend the festival, guests should plan on bringing a non-perishable food, which they can trade in for 10 game tickets. Those who like additional tickets can purchase them for 10 cents each.

St. John’s will donate the food items collected to the Salvation Army food shelf.

“We know the pantry shelves are usually cleared out pretty quickly,” Muller said.

The festival is open to the public. Parental supervision is recommended for young children. St. John’s is located at 1200 13th Ave. NW in Austin. Call 507-433-2642 with questions.