Hallelujah Party

Naomi Mellema – Staff Writer 

The Hallelujah Party, an alternative to trickor-treating, is scheduled for Oct. 31 from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. This Halloween alternative is held every year, normally in the Dordt University Recreation Center. It is hosted by Bridge of Hope, a church in Sioux Center. 

The Hallelujah Party started in 1999. The idea came from a Bridge of Hope member’s relative, whose church hosted a similar event. The church felt that the concept of the Hallelujah Party fit well with their church’s mission and vision. 

“This filled the bucket of sharing God’s love in practical ways and being visible in the community,” Kara Dieleman, Head of the Hallelujah Party Committee, said. 

The Hallelujah Party began as a small event held at the old Sioux Center Community Center, which is now the public library. The event has continued to grow, and now has anywhere from 1,100-1,500 in attendance every year. Activities and games at the Hallelujah Party are best suited for ages 0-13. 

At the Hallelujah Party, kids run around in Halloween costumes, playing a variety of games to win prizes. Kids are awarded prize tickets for games and activities which can then be turned in to receive candy or toys from a prize table. Another attraction at the Halloween Party is a scavenger hunt with specifically dressed-up characters which kids need to find and get the signature of to receive a prize. This year, there will be the new addition of a Halloween photo booth. 

According to Dieleman, the committee that organizes the Hallelujah Party is always looking for new games and activities to add to the event. Organizing games and activities is one of the responsibilities of the committee, which has four to six members. Other tasks include advertising, booking a venue, and reaching out to local businesses. The biggest responsibility for the committee, however, is purchasing prizes for those in attendance each year. The committee is on the lookout for prizes throughout the year. 

Most expenses of the event are covered by donations from businesses and other sponsors from the community. Many businesses contribute each year by donating money or candy. 

Though it requires many donations and a lot of preparation, Bridge of Hope believes that the Hallelujah Party is worth it. It is a safe place for the community to come together, where everyone is welcome and able to celebrate in an alternative way to trick-or-treating. At the event, there will also be an opportunity for attendees to give back to their community by donating to Hope Food Pantry. 

While the community benefits from the Hallelujah Party, Dieleman believes that the church and those that organize the event also benefit. 

“I believe we get to see the community come together at an event that brings pure joy to the children,” Dieleman said.

Contributed photo

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