Major turnout for Free Carnival despite weather

Word of Life church hosted their third annual free community carnival Saturday morning and the masses more than turned out. Over 2500 people came to enjoy free shaved ice, back-to-school haircuts, school supplies, carnival rides, and more at the thirty-year-old non-denominational church located at 1402 N 81st W Ave in Sand Springs. The event lasted from 11:00-3:00. Parking was at the old K-Mart building and the church rented several school buses from the City of Sand Springs to provide free shuttling.

 For the second year in a row, rain clouds threatened the event, but like last year, it was sunny skies within an hour of the gates opening. The sun heated things up quickly and local business Sandlot Sno-Balls was there to keep the community cool with free shaved ice treats from their mobile setup. Sandlot took over the shaved ice stand at 250 S Highway 97 in the Warehouse Market parking lot this summer, which was formerly known as JwY’s for 9 years and Livi Lee’s Summer Sno for a few months before the new owners revamped and rebranded the business.

There were also free hotdogs, lemonade, and other snacks and drinks available.

The rides were different this year as Word of Life used a new company, Lewellen Amusements, who has “bigger and better” attractions than the company used in previous years. One of Word of Life’s goals with their carnival is to provide an alternative for families who can’t or don’t want to attend the costly Tulsa State Fair which will operate during the first eleven days of October. The Fair may be a great economic stimulus for the City of Tulsa, but for many families it can be a hardship as they feel pressured to help their kids enjoy the event that they have a hard time affording.

Word of Life also wants to help make ends meet by providing free back-to-school haircuts and school supplies. Over 1000 backpacks full of school essentials were given out, and 73 haircuts were given inside the church building by five professional stylists who donated their services to the community.

The Sunday morning following the carnival marked the first Sunday of two services for Word of Life. The church is transitioning from one 10 AM service to a 9 AM and an 11 AM service. They kicked off the new services by giving away 10 checks of $500 each to first-time guests in the belief that the checks would reach the people whom God intended to receive them.

The staff at Word of Life wants the people of Sand Springs, as well as the surrounding areas, to know that they love their community and that they want to see the people of Sand Springs prosper and experience the love of Jesus Christ. Over a hundred church members volunteered to work shifts at the Carnival.

In addition to their Sunday services, Word of Life also has a Wednesday night service for 6th through 12th grade youth at an off-campus location. The Forward Youth building is located at 10th and Adams, less than a block from the high-school, and will host a free back-to-school event called “Whiteout 2015” this Wednesday at 7 PM. It will be the third year of “Whiteout,” which is a powdered-paint war on the Charles Page football practice field.