Photo courtesy of Calvary Baptist on Facebook.

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ALTON - Free family fall fun is coming your way with Falliday at Calvary Baptist Church.

Starting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, families can enjoy inflatables, carnival games, a petting zoo, a trunk-or-treat and more at the church, located at 1422 Washington Avenue in Alton. Kids can check out a firetruck and police cruiser, and a few good-spirited church members will be available for dunking in a dunk tank.

“Come dunk a pastor,” laughed Mike Harrelson, the Calvary Baptist children’s pastor. “It’s going to be a great time for families in our area here to come and just have a good time…We want people to know that we’re here and that God loves them, and this is just a practical way that we can do that.”

The Falliday event aims to bring together community members for a fun, safe and free night. Harrelson warns there will be “lots of candy,” but also plenty of ways for kids to work out that energy on the inflatables, including a football throw inflatable game that will encourage some friendly competition among the youngest congregation members.

“Bring the kids down and just let them be kids,” Harrelson said.

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While the event is open to the public, attendees can pre-register on the Calvary Baptist Church website for the chance to win a free Upward scholarship for the upcoming season. The church’s Upward program offers Christ-centered co-ed basketball and cheerleading teams for kids age 4 through eighth grade.

Falliday and Upward are two favorites, but there are many more kid-friendly programs at Calvary Baptist. The Calvary Kids group meets every Sunday after music worship at the church’s 10:30 a.m. service. Through activities, songs and games, this group aims to “let kids know that God loves them,” Harrelson explained. Similarly, the Awana Clubs meet from 5–7:15 p.m. on Sundays and give children a chance to connect over games, crafts and music.

There are many other programs geared toward preschoolers, students and kids. Calvary Baptist Church also plans to open a new Christian school by Fall 2024, which will offer preschool through 12th grade.

These programs are all a part of Calvary’s mission to be involved in the community, explained associate pastor Wade Dobson. The church invites everyone to check out their programs, services or events. Harrelson and Dobson hope to see many new and familiar faces at the Falliday celebration on Oct. 27, 2023.

“It’s kind of been our slogan for a few years: ‘Calvary Cares,’” Dobson added. “We want our church to be in a situation in our community where if tomorrow Calvary was gone from the Riverbend community, people would notice because we’ve had an impact and we’ve been engaged. So we hope Falliday is just another way to do that.”

For more information about Calvary Baptist Church or Falliday, visit their official website at CalvaryCares4U.org.

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