Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fun and flames in Camp Hill

Hilltop Fun Fest

When I was a kid, PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) would give away comics at our school featuring characters like Rocky and Bullwinkle. These comics were really disguised lectures on the importance of kite safety and why we needed to keep our strings clear of power lines. What would those incarnations of Moose and Squirrel think if they saw the folks at Slate Hill launching Sky Lanterns (paper aflame) into the air? I don’t know, but I sure thought it was cool. Especially since the launch was accompanied by a cappella hymns by a graveyard.

This was the final activity in a wonderful event Slate Hill Mennonite Church threw for their neighborhood. They’ve been holding Fun Fest annually for the last three years, and it just keeps growing. Though the church’s first Meeting House was built on the site in 1816, the congregation is  still finding ways to introduce themselves to the ever changing community. This annual party seems to be doing just that.

We found out about the event in a Transport for Christ newspaper (all the best events, we find, are advertised at truck stops). As we arrived, we noticed signs for a chicken dinner, which we would have been happy to pay for, but it was free. As the hot dogs were free. And the popcorn and the fruit and everything else.

For the kids, there was a bounce house, tractor train rides, and a Mario Kart Tournament (okay, maybe the video games weren’t just for the kids).  You could take a tour of the cemetery, enjoy the music and dancers, and/or a cappuccino at the cafe (which was a new and very popular element this year).

We were very impressed to see other local ministries and services that were invited to have tables and booths at the event -- everything from low income housing services to Wycliffe Bible Translators to a Christian motorcycle club.

On the tram ride back to our car (another local church provided overflow parking), I filled out an evaluation survey for the event. It asked whether I would come again next year, and since I have no idea where we’lll be in a year, I checked “No.” I want the good people at Slate Hill Mennonite to know I would really have liked to check “Yes.”