Children will be invited to walk two-by-two to Noah's ark Saturday at Crown of Life Lutheran Church's fourth annual "Walk with the Animals."
Children attending the event, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Washington County Fairgrounds' Junior Fair Building can decorate animal masks before lining up and following Pastor Joel Vogel, dressed as Noah himself, to a replica of the ark. There, the pastor will tell the story of how Noah built the massive boat at God's instruction and gathered two of every animal onto it before rain poured for 40 days and nights, flooding the world.
Parents whose children want to decorate the masks in advance can call ahead to the church at 374-3664 and pick a kit up.
Times file photo
Rich Hudson, owner of The Pampered Reptile,in Marietta, right, helps Nichole Hendrich, center, of Streetsboro, wrap a six-foot albino burmese python over the shoulders of her daughter, Megan Hendrich, during Walk with the Animals in 2007.
The event started as an alternative to the vacation Bible schools many churches offer in the summer, but it's open to anyone, Vogel said.
"It's a good way to get our name out there and chat with people and share the gospel," he said.
As usual, the event will offer free food, crafts and games. There will also be an inflatable jump around. The parades to the ark are slated for 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
If you go
What: Crown of Life Lutheran Church's "Walk with the Animals" event.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Junior Fair Building, Washington County Fairgrounds.
Activities: Live music, games, crafts, skits and food.
Who: Open to the public.
For more information: 374-3664
Unlike years past, there won't be any live animals this year, but there will be a new addition in the form of contemporary Christian band the Heralds. The Wisonsin-based group, part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which includes the local church, is scheduled to perform at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Church member Bob Edwards takes a week off from his job as a regional sales rep for Lipari Foods Inc. each year to help prepare for the event.
"It's pretty labor-intensive as far as the construction of the mockup of the ark here," he said.
The same frame is used every year for the boat, but the exterior changes to allow children to get even more involved. Edwards said the church give boards to groups like the Marietta Family YMCA and Betsey Mills Club to allow children in summer activities to decorate them. Kids at Saturday's event can also personalize boards that will then be added to the ark.
Edwards said he's fortunate to have the time to devote to the event, which he views as a major outreach opportunity.
"It's an opportunity to share God's word in a friendly atmosphere," he said.