All-Inclusive Fall Festival to be held at Lafayette Christian School

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, October 19, 2022

This weekend local organizations Pay It Forward 2K15, Transparent by Faith Ministries and D. Lane Insurance Agency will host the first annual All-Inclusive Fall Festival. The event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Boyd Inclusive Sports Complex at Lafayette Christian School from noon to 4 p.m.

Melissa Neal, executive director of Pay It Forward 2K15, said the festival will have activities for children and adults. Some activities include guided horse rides, a trackless train ride (wheelchair accessible), face painting, classic car displays and more.

The event centers around inclusivity and making sure everyone — children and adults — have a chance to have fun.

“Inclusivity is just so important,” Neal said. “No one wants to be a part of a society or community where they are always excluded because they’re not explicitly included.”

Neal said there are a lot of times when people don’t make events user-friendly for disabled individuals, and that’s not fair to them.

“We want to bring the community together, and we can’t bring the community together if we don’t explicitly think about or consider individuals with special needs,” Neal said. “They’re human beings just like we are and to some degree, to some caliber, we all have our limitations.”

Before setting up the festival, Neal said LCS Superintendent John Cipolla invited her nonprofit down to do an event.

After touring the playground, she was blown away by the playground’s inclusion of children with special needs.

“Based on what I saw, our whole intent from that point on was to make sure that anything we did outside of that playground considered individuals with special needs. They want to be included too.”

Neal said she and Cipolla hope to make the festival a yearly event.

“This is a good opportunity to bridge the gap between Lafayette Christian School, the community and, of course, the Troup County School System,” Neal said. “I know they’re separate, but we still want community, and we should function as much.”

Tickets for the festival will be sold 10 tickets for $20 or 20 tickets for $35. The tickets will include access to the hayride, trackless train, guided horse ride, game trucks, bouncy houses and basketball bouncer.  Neal said proceeds from the festival will go toward Pay It Forward 2K15’s second annual Turkey Day Food Box Giveaway that will be held on Nov.19.