This Saturday, November 2nd marks the 10th annual GCA Fall Festival and Holiday Market, and one thing has been clear ever since the start: the Lord alone is responsible for its success year after year!
Our monumental festival, which now brings in several thousand visitors each year, got its start in humble beginnings. Initially, like most small Christian schools, we tried a myriad of methods for raising sustainable fundraising dollars, including yard sales, silent auctions, and fundraising dinners. As is true of most events, the work for these endeavors fell heavily on a handful of parents. And so did the donations coming in.
We felt firm in our resolve to not have students sell items and were affirmed in our commitment to solicit fundraising dollars from external sources, rather than only relying on our internal community of parents. With this in mind, several moms from the Student Life Committee came up with a solution which not only met these criteria, but also blended a service project into the event. In 2009, within a matter of weeks, the plan for a “Spring Fling” was launched, consisting of a yard sale, vendors, and concessions. With an enrollment of only about 50 students, that first year’s event, in April of 2010, celebrated over 400 attendees!
Much was learned that first year, and the committee walked away hoping to shift the event to a fall festival. Although it would be a challenge to host two such events within one calendar year, the second event was held in November 2010. Several improvements accompanied that second event: a Kidzone, replacing the yard sale with twenty additional vendors, and a name change. Hence, GCA’s Fall Festival and Holiday Market was off to a steady start!
Over the past decade, our event has evolved considerably with the emergence of a website, sponsors, more vendors, and the formation of individual committees to help with the planning and execution of the various aspects of this one-day festival. Social media have contributed to the event’s marketing and attendance exponentially.
A few things haven’t changed though. From the very start, we have endeavored to lead with relationship, to put the Gospel above dollars, and to invest in the long-term impact. GCA’s Fall Festival and Holiday Market is a well-respected event within the Greenville, SC vendor community, and is now a juried event, assessing hundreds of applications each year.
To neglect the diligent and faithful work of the leaders, volunteers, and greater community around this event would be remiss, but at the heart of it all is the One who sustains all things and the Giver of all good gifts. It is to the Lord alone that we rejoice over each year’s success, and it is in His hands ultimately that we rest each new year’s exploits.
With that being said, we’d love for you to join us this year, or any year, at GCA’s Fall Festival and Holiday Market. On November 2nd, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., we’ll host our 10th annual event in our school parking lot and surrounding campus (located at 2519 Woodruff Rd in Simpsonville, SC 29681). There will be over 75 vendors, a variety of concessions, and a jam-packed-with-fun Kidzone. Bring the whole family, and plan to stay. We sure hope to see you there!
Looking for more information? Visit the festival’s website: https://greenvillefallfestival.com. Or head over to our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2465197896881261. You can keep up with latest on our dedicated profiles on Facebook or Instagram, too.