A party that has brought islanders together for more than 25 years will take place again this weekend at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church Fellowship Hall.
"It is a wonderful time where the whole community gets together and has a great party for our Pine Island kids," event chairman Peggy Cozadd said of the Fall Festival. "This party has been going on for over 25 years and is a beautiful example of how everyone on this island rallies together to help our kids."
This year the Fall Festival, which is open to Pine Island Elementary School students and their families and is free of charge, will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. As the youngsters enter the Fall Festival, they will be handed a trick or treat bag of goodies.
The VFW Ladies Auxiliary participated in the Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island Fall Festival to help bring some joy to the youngsters’ lives.
"The kids love it because they get to come in costumes and play pretend," Cozadd said.
She said she tries to get the teenagers to help set up the festival, as well as take things down when it is over. She said they also help with the games.
Cozadd said although the Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island hosts the event every year, the whole community helps in putting it together by donating candy and money, along with sponsoring a game booth.
If You Go
What: Pine Island Fall Festival
Host: The Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island
When: Saturday, Oct. 27,
from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church Fellowship Hall, 12175 Stringfellow Road.
The game booth sponsors this year include Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Stonegate Bank, Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, Pine Island Library, Lions Club, Honc, Bobby Holloway Fund, Beacon of H.O.P.E, Greater Pine Island Water Company, Creative Coast Pre School and George Birmingham.
Some of the games include a ring toss, beanbag toss and a golf game.
Cozadd said the kids will receive some kind of token, like a sucker or a pencil after visiting one of the game booths.
"Everyone wins," she said.
The Pine Island Library, Cozadd said, provides a booth so they can read spooky stories to the kids.
"It's a magical time," she said of all the festivities.
In addition to the game booths, the Kiwanis Club also rents bounce houses for the youngsters. The fire department also brings a fire truck to the event to let the youngsters sit inside.
Cozadd said they will also serve hot dogs, chips, cookies, popcorn, cotton candy and water for the children free of charge. She said in year's past they have served lemonade for the kids, but last year they seemed to prefer water.
She said she remembers standing outside of the hall one year and hearing laughter pouring out, while the same cheerful noises were flowing in from outdoors where the bounce houses were set up.
"It was a magical moment just to hear this," Cozadd said of the children's obvious enjoyment.
Donation boxes have been set up around the island for individuals who wish to donate candy for the cause. Those locations include Stonegate Bank, the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, Ad&PrintCraft Printing.
Cozadd said individuals can donate any kind of candy as long as it is individually wrapped.
"It's a wonderful thing, I am hoping all the kids on the island get the opportunity to come," she said.
Individuals can watch a video from last year's festival by visiting www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB-Ndq8aqBtE&feature=channel&list=UL .