Immanuel Lutheran Church holds first fall festival

By DAVID J. HARDIN
Cove Leader-Press 

Smiles, food, games, and people made up the first ever Immanuel Lutheran Church Fall Festival in Copperas Cove on Saturday. 
The event was coordinated by the church’s youth group, and with the help of many parishioners and volunteers, they offered a petting zoo, dunk tank, hayride, sack races, apple bobbing, face painting, a bouncy house, and an assortment of vendors. 
One highlight was a pie eating contest that saw 24 participants try to finish their pie before anyone else. Inside the social hall hot dogs and soda were provided for free, along with coloring and other activities for children. 
Several hundred people attended the event, and the church plans to make this an annual tradition on the first Saturday in October.
Tara and Peter Semanoff and their children Emma and Luke attend Immanuel Lutheran Church and came out on Saturday.
“We came out to support our church, volunteer, have fun, enjoy the games, food, and meet new people,” said Peter. “It is great that our church and the community could come together.”
Jason Van Loo and his daughter, Savannah, said the hayride was the best part of the festival for them. 
Randon Nield won the pie-eating contest, as he finished his blueberry pie and crust before 23 other competitors did. 
“The hardest part was trying to finish the bottom crust,” said Nield. “I might do one again in the future.” 
Vendors talked about their experience on Saturday at the festival.
Lisa Gilray is an independent consultant with Scentsy and sold bath soaps and other items during the Fall Festival. 
“My business has been great and it is great to be able to sell at this fall festival,” said Gilray. 
Tara Merrill is a Young Living essential oils distributor. Both she and Esther Parker were selling essential oils at the festival. 
“I saw the fall festival on Fort Hood Area Events, and then asked to sign up and be a vendor,” Merrill said. “It is a great turnout, and awesome event, I am happy to be here.”
Gary Glick is the head elder at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Copperas Cove, and is also the youth group leader who helped head up the event. 
“(Immanuel Lutheran) has been serving the community since 1894, and we want to continue to serve the community and not just be in it,” Glick said. “This is our first annual Fall Festival, because in past years we would hold one, and then wait three to have another festival.”
Pastor of the Immanuel Lutheran Church Tobin Scott said he is already looking to next year to make it bigger and better. 
“We would like to add more rides, games, and entertainment for next year,” said Scott. “I am glad to see our church and our community connecting.”

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