By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON — There are a lot of reasons to feel good about being a Hoosier.
Anderson’s East Side Church of God is out to remind us of many of the neat things for which Indiana is known, while celebrating the fall season. The church hosts its family-friendly Treats from Indiana event this Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Indiana’s circus heritage will be featured as young circus performers travel from Peru, Ind., bringing a show to delight and amaze.
"Treats from Indiana is designed to show off many of the wonderful things that come from our home state…while providing kids an opportunity to fill their bags with treats…and families a safe and fun place to take their kids" said Gayle Wiese, children's pastor at East Side.
This will be the sixth year the church hosts the free event, and the third one to focus on all things Indiana. Last year, about 1,000 people attended Treats from Indiana.“It’s just a fun time," said Wiese. "Hopefully, they learn a little more about Indiana, and feel good about their state.”
New and exciting this year, Treats from Indiana features one of the state’s many claims to fame: the circus. The Peru Amateur Circus, with performers all between the ages of 10 and 21, will put on a show that includes juggling, trampoline, a rolling globe, unicycle, clowns and tumbling.
“That’s going to be fun,” said Wiese. She also noted, “It’s really promoting kids — the things they can do.”
The circus will give three performances during the evening. Peru Amateur Circus is a program of Circus City Festival, Inc. The circus website explains that the program was launched in 1960 “for the purpose of developing self-worth, poise, responsibility, self-esteem, spirit of teamwork, and lasting friendships” among the local youth.
Other Treats from Indiana attractions will be located at different spots inside the church's large facility. Kids can get in on games, check out model trains, or learn about Indiana animals visiting with a naturalist from Mounds State Park. They can also find out what’s cool about James Dean, and delight in puppets, popcorn, art, music and more.
Don’t be surprised if you spot characters like Johnny Appleseed, or Abe Lincoln, or Raggedy Ann roaming the halls as well as they hand out treats.
Outside the church, look for a couple of vintage race cars and a futuristic Indy race car highlighting the state’s strong automotive racing heritage.
Weise said it takes about 100 volunteers to manage the big evening. This year, members of the Anderson University women’s soccer team, clad in their jerseys, will also be helping out, creating a fun time for everyone.
“It’s just a really great night,” said Wiese.
East Side’s senior pastor, Kerry Robinson, underscored the church’s focus, saying, "Here at East Side we are committed to the children and families of Madison County. For over a decade we have been serving our community by providing a safe setting for families to enjoy time together. Treats from Indiana celebrates all that is good about our community.”
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If you go: What: Treats From Indiana, featuring Peru Amateur Circus performances When: 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25 Where: East Side Church of God, 2600 East Fifth Street, Anderson More info: The event is free. Call 649-3534 for more information.