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Pineapple Festival will welcome Aiken community again

August 19, 2018

The third-annual Pineapple Festival at Memorial Baptist Church in Aiken will be the “coolest” one yet.

This year, the festival’s organizers have moved the carnival games and children’s activities indoors from the August heat.

The festival will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, in the church’s Family Life Building. Admission is free. Memorial Baptist is at 3100 Vaucluse Road.

“We are here to welcome kids and help them learn through the activities, but mostly we want to make it fun, fun, fun for them all day,” said Wanda Padgett, who is helping organize the children’s area.

The children’s carnival games will include a duck pond, go fish, buried treasure, ball toss, hole-in-one and a bean bag toss.

Children’s arts and crafts will include face painting, rock painting, sand art, airplane making, puppet craft, card making, visor craft and colored clay stamping and coloring. The crafts room also will feature a games corner.

All children’s activities will be upstairs in the Family Life Building. All children’s activities will be free.

Downstairs, a giant flea market will “fill the entire gym,” said Gwen Simpson, the festival’s chairperson.

The flea market will feature new and gently used clothing, books, glassware, household appliances, furniture, linens and home and seasonal décor.

“Really, it’s a little bit of everything for everyone,” Simpson said.

Festivalgoers can bid for baskets in a silent auction, register for door prizes and participate in cake walks.

And, of course, the festival will feature lots of food, including a bake sale and barbecue and hot dog plate specials. Betty Sharp is in charge of food sales.

The festival’s theme represents the pineapple as a symbol of welcome, warmth, friendship and hospitality.

“We want to show the community that we’re a welcoming church, and of course, the pineapple is the universal symbol for welcome,” Simpson said.

This year, too, the church will be giving back to the community, Simpson said.

“We will be give a portion of our proceeds to local charities,” she said. “The rest will go to the church’s mission fund and building and grounds fund.”

For the event’s organizers, the festival also represents fellowship.

“We started way back in February, and we have all enjoyed the wonderful fellowship and being together,” said Evelyn Finnegan, a festival volunteer, adding she especially enjoys the cake walks. “It’s something we look forward to every year. We can’t wait until Aug. 25.”

Simpson agreed.

“It’s a lot of teamwork,” she said. “That’s priceless for us.”

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