Face pies, squashing watermelons, chocolate syrup and jelly sandwiches were just some of the tasty attractions that made for a messy but fun-filled evening at the Seventh Annual Nic @ Nite. The event was held from Aug. 6-8 at Manning High School.
“I’m very pleased,” said Pastor Jim Fleming of Seacoast Church in Manning who co-organized the event with his wife, Paula.
The event started out with song and dance and was followed by a message by Fleming. Fleming’s message focused on the main theme of the three nights: “God made you, God loves you and Jesus wants to be your friend.”
Special guest was local artist Jane Gibson who in seven minutes painted Jesus surrounded by children. On the previous two nights she made two other Christian themed paintings.
Nearly 850 children attended the event over a total of three nights. The children were broken down into teams with different color-coordinated T-shirts. Some children went all out with team colors painted on their faces and hair.
Games included “What would you do?” in which participants would select a card and choose to do either what was on the card, or get pied in the face. All selected the card and paid for their choice with a fun and messy surprise. The surprises included cereal and milk poured on them, chocolate syrup drizzled over their heads followed by bird seed, and jelly smeared on the sides of their head with slices of bread making “jelly sandwiches.” And don’t forget the ooey-gooey green slime.
Fleming also squashed several watermelons that were topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Antuann Martin, who was the lucky contestant to have chocolate syrup and bird feed poured on him.
Antuann’s mother, Izkah Plummer, said that she enjoyed coming out to the event because it had a great theme with plenty of fun activities.
“The atmosphere here is very nice and the people here are really warm,” she said.
Jajaira Tricoche said that this was a fun event for her son, Javier, to attend.
“It looks fun. I wish I could be in it with him,” she said. “This event is very well organized with a positive message and something that is very refreshing.”
Missy Brown has been attending Nic @ Nite with her children for the last three years. Brown said that what attracted her was the message of Christianity combined with the fun. Her two sons, Dalton and Gavin, and niece Mary Madlyn Stanfield attended the event.
Tina Geddings said that Nic @ Nite was a great opportunity for her two young children, Austin and Haleigh, to learn about teamwork.
“They were on the same team and this gave them plenty of opportunity to work together,” she said.
Paula Fleming, co-organizer of the event and children’s director at Seacoast Church, said that she was happy with the turnout at the three-day event.
“The whole community comes together to make this event a success,” she said.
Major Doug Ridgeway of the Manning Police Department has been volunteering with the event since it first started six years ago. His two children, Maggie and Alec, have attended every year, and this year served as coaches.
“I do it for the children, but I also have a lot of fun myself,” Ridgeway said.
The Flemings would like to thank Manning Fire Department for providing plenty of water for the event, Manning Police Department for providing security and RadioShack for providing frozen treats. They would also like to thank the Seacoast Church’s Greensboro, N.C. campus who came down to assist.