On Saturday, Nov. 4, the Van Alstyne community joined in the Lord’s Acre Harvest Festival. This event was a chance for members of the populace to meet and mingle while eating nachos, playing games and buying homemade wares. The event was also an opportunity for the hosting church, the First United Methodist Church in Van Alstyne, to raise funds for the church and community.

This was the church’s eighth year to host the Lord’s Acre Harvest Festival. The tradition came into effect to pay homage to the days of the western expansion. “It was often the custom of local famers to donate to their church the harvest — or proceeds from the harvest — of one of their acres of crop land,” the chairperson of the event, Dawn Velekei said. “This concept has developed over time into what we now refer to as a Lord’s Acre Harvest Festival.”

There was a homemade street sign that welcomed the guests to the event and pointed them in the right direction. The sign also listed a few of the events for the patrons to enjoy. It pointed the way to BBQ, the country store, the auction and children’s act.

Once you rounded the corner into the event, you were welcomed with the smell of popcorn. At the concession booth, guests had the choice of popcorn, nachos and other carnival-like food.

There was also a booth that allowed residents to decorate their own pre-baked cookies, with helpers to show how it is done. The event also featured a face painting booth for kids.

Other booths included carnival type games — like a bean bag toss and fishing games. There was a train for the children to take a ride around the grounds.

In the middle of the event grounds stood a gigantic white tent. Inside this tent was the silent auction items and the country store with the homemade goods for sale. There was also live music available for the passers-by.

Once back outside in the beautiful weather that was Saturday afternoon, children had the opportunity to see the one and only Santa Claus. He was available to wave at or shake hands with the children who were attending the event. He was also there for any children who wanted to take a picture with Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick.

Inside the church was a dining area and another concession stand. It had plenty of tables for patrons to sit and eat, while enjoying the cool indoors.

The flyer cited that this event was more than just a fundraiser — it is a vital part of the spirit of the congregation and community. From the looks of the outcome of the event, it seems the VAFUMC succeeded.