"'Y'all come' was an expression I loved hearing my father-in-law use," said Pastor Jim Cunningham, Jr. "It's just so inclusive.
No restrictions. No qualifications. No exclusions." That's the philosophy behind the 4th Annual "VOC Community Potluck in the Park" on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2:30-6:30 p.m., at the VOCA Kiwanis Park, 690 Bell Rock Blvd., next to the VOCA Clubhouse.
"This event is for bringing the community together to connect as next-door neighbors, to introduce people to each other, to laugh and enjoy life together, to celebrate who we are and to build community -- everyone in the Village is invited!"
The VOC Nazarene Church hosts the event, but it's a true community effort with sponsorships from over 60 area businesses and organizations.
While the Church is providing the planning and organization, much of the labor and some of the food, the hamburgers, hotdogs, veggie-burgers, buns, condiments, chips and water are all being provided by area businesses. The community is asked to bring a salad, a side dish or a dessert.
Just like previous years, this event will have bouncy houses, slides and face-painting for the kids, along with games for adults and kids.
The "VOC Community Potluck in the Park" uses a retro theme, focusing on traditional family fun like a pie-eating contest (for all age groups), sack races, a three-legged race, a dance contest and so much more.
The Yavapai County Sheriff's Department participates bringing deputies, including Deputy Do Right; The National Forest Service brings Smokey Bear and handouts for the kids; Sedona Fire represents with firefighters and equipment. Live musicians will be performing and also playing for the dance contest. Last year, local businesses donated 58 prizes to be given away, with 23 given away as door prizes just for showing up!
Pastor Jim received positive feedback for several months after the past two VOC Community Potluck in the Park events and he added, "One of the most common things I heard was, 'Are you going to do more than just one Potluck a year? I really don't want to wait a whole year for another one.'"
He went on to say, "I met people last year who are now friends that we socialize with, and am aware of others who say the same. It's so satisfying to know the event accomplished its intended purpose."
The organizers are still in need of assistance. If you are available to help with setting up or cleaning up, if you have shade canopies to loan, a large generator, or are just looking for additional details, go to their website VOCNAZ.ORG or call Pastor Jim at (928) 284-0015, and most of all, y'all come!