Anyone wishing to thank a neighbor, meet that new best friend and forget about the stress of the recent flood will be in luck this month.
St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church will host its third annual Community Celebration beginning at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 22 at the church, 2701 Old Greenwood Road. The list of activities will inspire and entertain those attending the free, all-ages event, and will serve as the ideal opportunity to have a relaxing, fun time, said Father Michael Briggs.
"All of this is going to be fun," he said. "We'll have a band playing live music, there will be hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks."
Among the scheduled activities for individuals, couples, families and friends will be an artist, arts and crafts, various vendors, an outdoor church service, games for children and adults and more, Briggs said. The artist for the event will be Edwin Importante, while representatives from Smiling H Farms will have jams, honey, jellies and beeswax products.
"We're going to have several vendors there, so that will be exciting for people to enjoy," Briggs said.
The Greater Goods Marketplace will have hand-crafted, eco-friendly fair trade items, and gourmet-flavored popcorn will be available courtesy of Fort Smith Popcorn Co. Goats milk and cheeses can be obtained from Marla and Russ during the event, said Donna Goldstein, a senior warden at the church.
"There will be a giant Jenga and an elephant bounce-around," she said.
Those attending also will get a chance to see and learn more about Irma Purcell's Beautiful Bags, a project to support the needs of area homeless people, Briggs said.
"Irma Purcell is making these beautiful, cloth bags that people just love," he said. "She's making these bags for us to give to the homeless at Next Step Homeless Services.
"We will give those bags to them at Christmas," Briggs added. "We'll put toiletries, socks, scarves and hats in them."
Those seeking more information can call (479) 783-2101 or visit the St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church Facebook page and StBartsFS.org.
"In addition, we will have a free photo booth with props," Goldstein said. "We want people to know that this isn't a fundraiser. This is just fun. We are very active in the community and it's our way to say thank you to our neighbors."
"After the flood and when some people got flooded again, we decided to do something where people can celebrate how resilient we are, and how neighbors bonded to help each other during the flood," he said. "This will be a celebration to have some fun. We still have a lot to be thankful for, and we really want to end the summer on a good note."