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The Halloween Alternative

Ovilla Road Church of the Nazarene in Glen Heights, Texas, is busy planning its second annual Pumpkin Patch Carnival. A year ago a young mother suggested she'd like an alternative to the usual Halloween trick-or-treat activities, so Pastor John Whitsett came up with the idea of the carnival.

The community will read about this year's carnival in the local newspaper. A portable marquee will sit at the church parking lot entrance, and flyers will be distributed through community day-care centers and after-school activity centers during the week before Halloween.

On Halloween night, carnival time is 6:30 to 8:30 in the yard adjacent to the church. Bales of hay topped with pumpkins mark the perimeter of the carnival area, and a church member costumed as a big dog greets children as they arrive.

Other church members supervise a variety of children's games: bowling (with two-liter soda containers as pins), tic-tac-toe (children toss bean bags onto a grid trying to get three ...

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