In honor of its 30th anniversary, a Cape Coral church will host a carnival for the community.
Cape Christian will kick off its 30th Anniversary Celebration today from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on its campus, featuring rides, games and activities. The fun will continue on Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m, then wrap up on Sunday from 1 to 9 p.m. Worship services are also planned during the three days of festivities.
Founding Pastor Dennis Gingerich and his wife, Linda, along with two other couples, started Cape Christian on Easter in 1987 at Pelican Elementary. Ninety-seven people attended the Sunday service. Today, over 2,500 people attend four services each weekend, as well as a Wednesday youth service.
"Thirty years later and we're still here," Julia Hartlieb, spokeswoman for the church, said.
"We're just excited to share our 30th anniversary with the city," she added.
Over the last three decades, the church has assembled and developed the 14-acre property for the church and the public. At the center of the campus is Tony & Ada's Cafe and Fellowship Park, which consists of a splash pad, basketball court, playing field, three playground areas and three pavilions.
"The park is open to the public," Hartlieb said.
The church is also home to Cape Christian Preschool.
"We want everybody to know us as more than the church with the splash pad," she said.
This is the first time the church has organized a carnival for the public.
"There's something for kids of all ages," Hartlieb said.
With nearly a dozen rides, there is a Ferris wheel, fun house, carousel, Scrambler and more.
"It looks like a good old-fashioned carnival," she said.
Tickets can be purchased on site for $1.25 each; the rides take three or four tickets each.
"We're getting balloons for all the kids," Hartlieb said.
There could also be a dunk tank and more.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the cafe.
Organizers do not know what size turnout to expect.
"I don't think we have any expectations," she said.
"But you can see it from the road as you drive by," Hartlieb added.
She encouraged the community to stop by.
"This carnival, it's just a party and whoever wants to come is welcome," Hartlieb said.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," she added.
The worship services will be held today at 6:30 p.m and Sunday at 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Cape Christian is at 2110 Chiquita Blvd. S.