That is how Peter Matushek of Homewood described the Good Gourd fall party while dancing with his daughter Romy to the honky-tonk sounds of The New Heartaches on Saturday, Oct. 16, outside of the Flossmoor Community House. The party was a first for Flossmoor Community Church, which pivoted from its usual Community House fest in the summer and indoor talent show in November amid ongoing concerns about COVID-19.
“With the pandemic, we didn’t feel comfortable doing either,” said Brooke King-LaBreck, director of community engagement for FCC. “So we started dreaming of ways that we could have a safe, outdoor family event gathering for the community to attend.”
In addition to the music, the event featured food from The Sunshine Kitchen and Smallcakes of Homewood, with a BYOB policy for adults. Andrew Lash, who owns that location of Smallcakes with his wife, Devin, said it was nice to have some fall fun with everyone at the party.
“We really enjoy the community here in Homewood-Flossmoor,” he said. “They’ve been really good to us.”
There were also games and prizes, including pumpkin-decorating contests. Vendors were similar to those that appear at the Homewood Farmers Market, including Old Things Gone Wild, Cool Joolz and Made Sew Happy.
Good Gourd also partnered with You Matter 2 to collect nonperishable goods for the organization’s We Scare Hunger Trail. The haunted house themed event set up across the street at FCC during the party and started at 5 p.m., right as Good Gourd concluded. Good Gourd attendees also were given one hour of family-friendly tour time right after the party, before the big-time scares came out later in the evening.
King-LaBreck noted You Matter 2 was started at the church, has an office there and holds meetings at FCC, as well. The church is happy to share space and collaborate, she said.
“We’re excited to be in partnership with You Matter 2,” King-LaBreck said. “This year, in particular, we started to do more collaborating, especially with outreach projects.”
Good Gourd was free and open to the entire community.