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Harvestfest Offers Free Family Fun, Food and Friendship

Sep 26, 2019 02:39PM ● By Pamela Johnson

Cousins (from left) Jack, Bruce, Jordan, and Vance warm up before going into the jumpy house at Harvestfest. They were among several hundred visitors to this year’s event.

written by Dave Dunbar, Contributing Writer

Remember back in 2012 when the U.S. was pulling out of the “Great Recession of '08” but people were still suffering from its effects? 

Well, the Reverend Baron Rodrigues of the Bellingham's First Baptist Church decided to do something to help. The result was Harvestfest – a day of free food, fun, and friendship. Harvestfest is co-hosted by the First Baptist Church and the Bellingham Bible Baptist Church.
It was held for the seventh year recently at the Bellingham Town Common. Several hundred people came to visit vendor booths, enjoy free food, play games and engage with the community. “We enjoy giving back to the community that we are part of,” explained Reverend Rodrigues.

More than 30 vendors opened their booths, including Bellingham Family Dental, Cook’s Valley Farm, Honey Dew Donuts, Outback Steak House, Staples, Uno Pizzeria, Walgreens, and Walmart. The idea is to engage with the community, not pressure people into buying things.
“We want to partner with businesses, which were suffering too, back then,” said Rodrigues, “and many of the vendors keep returning year after year. We’re going to keep at it as long as the Lord allows.” Quoting the Bible, he added, “Give and it shall be given unto you.”

The Reverend Rick Mosher recalled, “Baron and I were thinking about a way to get the community together for a fun and free day for everybody. So with Harvestfest there are no charges for anything, there are free samples of food, and we’re hoping people can become familiar with the businesses in town that offer something special.”

Free activities include face painting, crafting, and games. The bouncy house is free for all who want to participate. And the Ridge Valley Stables of Grafton supplied two ponies for free rides.

“We’re lucky to have this in town,” said one visitor. “It’s family oriented, and there’s no alcohol,” observed another. A third added, “It’s cool that the churches have an opportunity to talk to people.”

Dr. Erin Walsh, of Bellingham Family Dental, summed up by saying, “It’s a nice community we have in Bellingham, and we are excited to be a part of it.”

Look for Harvestfest 2020 coming up in September of next year.




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