FREE rides, food, drinks and entertainment – that is what more than 20,000 people were treated to at the annual Redlands Easter Family Festival.
Organiser John Van Dijk, from the Redlands Christian Reformed Church, said the event was about sharing the Gospel in a fun way.
“The real purpose is for the churches to connect with the community,” he said.
A gravitron, giant slide, tea-cup twirl ride and bouncy castle were just some of the thrills offered, along with a magic show, brass band entertainment and more.
Crowds were also kept well-fed thanks to the efforts of more than 400 volunteers.
Mr Van Dijk said about 12,000 barbecued sausages, 8000 donuts, 4000 sandwiches and 400kg of apples were served, with water and hot beverages available to patrons from drink stations.
The real purpose is for the churches to connect with the community.John van Dijk
While more than six months worth of preparation was involved in organising the event held at Redland Showgrounds, Mr Van Dijk said the effort had been worth it, as this year’s festival attracted a record crowd.
He said the Easter fun had grown in popularity throughout the years, boosted by an online presence.
“(Over) the past five years it has grown exponentially,” he said. “It has grown mostly because of word of mouth, but we have also been very successful in our social media campaign and over the past two years it has exploded based on that.”
Mr Van Dijk said up to 45 bayside Christian groups and churches were involved.
It was not just residents from the Redlands who attended – families from Springfield Lakes and beyond also turned up.