Fall Festival and coat drive

Published 9:57 am Tuesday, November 5, 2019

As the fall season comes into full effect and the weather grows chilly, Cumberland community members will have the opportunity to prepare for colder temperatures at this year’s annual Cumberland Fall Festival and coat drive.

The Fall Festival, hosted by the Alliance of Cumberland Churches and sponsored by Cumberland County Social Services, will take place at the Cumberland County Middle School gymnasium on Nov. 9 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will give residents a chance to celebrate all that autumn has to offer, including face painting, selfies with Santa, kid’s activities and games, a bounce house and more.

In addition to being an opportunity for fun and festivities, the festival also serves as a community coat drive, giving residents an opportunity to pick up free coats and jackets for both children and adults.

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Alliance of Cumberland Churches representative and Cumberland Christmas “Mother” Barry Vassar described the coat drive as a program open to all.

“There is no eligibility,” Vassar stated in an interview with The Herald Oct. 30. “You show up and say you need a coat. There’s nothing for you to have to qualify for. You just walk up and say, ‘This is what I need, this is the size.’ … Sporadically as people come through, they can come in, take a ticket and grab a coat.”

According to Vassar, the local area churches have been hard at work collecting clean, gently-used coats to give away at the event. The festival will also feature free lunch and worship music for locals to enjoy.

At last year’s festival, volunteers gave away 191 coats. Additionally, 325 free lunches, 179 free children’s books and 77 free Bibles were given away to festival-goers.

Vassar also encouraged that any local churches are welcome to come out and be a part of the festival and coat drive. Many vendors will be present at the event, with plenty of freebies to be distributed.

“This is the opportunity for folks to come out,” stated Vassar. “Those who may need a coat can get a coat. Those that just want to have the kids out and have some fun on a Saturday, this is your time.”