Westwood to host two fall festivals in October

By EMILY REED / Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – Westwood Baptist Church is gearing up to host two fall festivals in October.

The first is the annual community-wide Fall Fest on Oct. 4 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

The event will be held at the church campus with shuttle parking located in front of Bed Bath and Beyond at the Promenade shopping center from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., according to Rick Swing, executive pastor at Westwood. Those needing shuttle services should look for the tent.

“This is our third year for the Fall Fest and every year it grows in numbers,” Swing said. “This past year we had over 2,300 people who attended. There is a parking lot full of large inflatables, a hay ride and games for the whole family and lots and lots of candy. This year we have a local wrestling company who will put on a show starting around 7 p.m. that night, and of course, many kids show up in their Halloween costumes just to get a head start.”

Admission to the event is $1.

Swing said there will also be food vendors from Jim ‘N Nicks, Joe’s Italian, Devil Dogs, Little Caesars Pizza, Dixieland Funnel Cakes, and Frios Gourmet Pops and Kona Ice.

“For Westwood, the best part of all of this is the opportunity for the community to come together and laugh, have fun, eat and fellowship with those around them,” Swing said. “This is an event for the entire community. We encourage people to invite their neighbors to join them and create some family memories.”

For preschool aged children, there will be an area with “age appropriate inflatables and a playground.

A second event on Oct. 5 is the Angel Warriors Foundation’s special needs Fall Fest and Safety Day from 2-4 p.m. The event will be held at Westwood Baptist Church.

The Alabaster Fire Department and Alabaster Police Department will participate in this year’s event.

“We are trying to continue ideas brought up by the first responder trainings held by Dustin Chandler and his Interaction Advocacy Group, and bring those out to our families and individuals with special needs,” said Erika Zoebelein, Vice President of Angel Warriors Foundation. “We believe that this is a partnership to keep our loved ones safe and to build a great relationship with both parties.”

The event is free and open to anyone with special needs and their families.

“We strive to give these families options for sensory-friendly events as well as it being judgement free,” Zoebelein said. “Sometimes we take for granted being able to enjoy everyday events so this gives our families options to do typical things. It also brings the community together, where people can meet new people who may be differently abled individuals.”

Zoebelein said last year’s event had roughly 20-25 families attend in addition to volunteers who spent time with the families at the festival.

“We are blessed to be in a supportive community,” Zoebelein said. “Westwood Baptist is hosting our event again this year and we truly appreciate them opening their doors and allowing us to use their space.”

To RSVP for the Fall Fest and Safety Day with the Angel Warriors Foundation, email bamazoebe@gmail.com.

For additional information on Westwood’s Fall Fest event, visit Gowestwood.org/fallfest.