BOONE – While Halloween is a special time in the year for both children and adults to dress up in costumes or to visit a haunted house for a good scare, Mount Vernon Baptist Church’s Family Fall Festival offers an opportunity for community members to gather in a family-friendly environment.

The event will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31, in the gym and first floor of the church, which is located at 3505 Bamboo Road in Boone.

There will be 36 games, including inflatables, for children of pre-k age and older to enjoy. There will also be food and prizes.

Although children are invited to dress in costumes, the church requests costumes remain family-friendly and not scary.

The free community-wide event has been held for over 15 years — each year drawing a crowd of over 800 guests.

Cindy Retherford, childhood education director at MVBC, said the Family Fall Festival started as an alternative way to celebrate Halloween in which parents in the community can feel safe about the candy and environment that their children are exposed to.

“I think parents just want to be in an atmosphere that’s not so scary and that they feel safe in, but yet offer some of the fun and trick-or-treating type stuff,” Retherford said. “It’s just a big fall party.”

Over 130 volunteers will help to run the event, which is funded by the church. Community members can help offset the cost of the event by donating soda and soft candy. Donations can be dropped off at the Family Fall Fest display in the church’s lobby.

For more information, call the church office at (828) 266-9700, visit or follow on Facebook. Interested volunteers can send an email to

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