The Fun Wasn’t Stopped… There Was A Plan C

Kids games were under the big tent Saturday. Student-athletes from William Penn University were there to assist.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Umbrellas and rain gear was the most popular item for people to have in Oskaloosa and Mahaska County this past weekend.

At the Gateway Church of the Nazarene, event coordinator Shannon Breon said that having a Plan C helped Family Fest still happen.

Plan A for Family Fest is to hold the event as scheduled, outdoors in the fall sun. Plan B makes the provision for moving things like bounce houses indoors in the event of high winds. Plan C, as we found out, was to move most all the events indoors, unless it was under something like the big tent or an awning.

For the past six years in October, The Gateway Church of the Nazarene has hosted the family event. Depending upon the weather, there’s been as many as 1600 visitors or as few as 800 visitors. It won’t be known for several days exactly how many moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, and kids attended.

“We just really decided that we wanted to do something for the community,” said Breon of how Family Fest got started six years ago. “So we decided we wanted to have something in the fall. At the time, there weren’t as many free things for families in Oskaloosa in the fall.”

The day includes things like a meal and snacks, like popcorn and cotton candy, which are all free.

There is a mountain of giveaways, that included drawings for things like TVs, a Traeger Grill, among others. “We get a lot of support from the community that donates and helps us with prizes,” said Breon.

None of this happens without volunteers, and Breon expressed her gratitude to the approximately 150 volunteers that make it possible. “It is because we have some great people at the church that help and volunteer every year. New families that have joined us jump right on board.”

“We don’t do that all ourselves,” said Breon. “William Penn is our ally that helps us.”

Over 90 student-athletes from William Penn University came out on Saturday to help staff everything from inflatables, kid games, and more. “They have a great time. We have a great time having them here,” Breon said of the Statesmen volunteers.

Breon also thanked the emergency services that come every year to let kids explore their vehicles, and answer questions about their trucks and cars.

You can learn more about Gateway Church of the Nazarene by visiting their website at

Posted by on Oct 6 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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