GREENFIELD — Five years ago, a downtown church set up an ice cream social in the parking lot.
The next year, organizers rented a bounce house. They asked a couple of members with classic cars to bring them.
From there, the event has grown to include a pulled-pork dinner, inflatables, classic cars, a dunk tank and other activities. Last year, about 450 people visited what’s become the Hoosier Luau at Greenfield Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
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This year, organizers are striving for an even bigger and better event, set for 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 14 in the parking lot of the church, 23 N. East St.
Church youth will try to break a world record for the biggest blanket tent/fort. They’ll accept donations of new and used twin blankets for the youth group’s attempt. Blankets will be donated to homeless shelters and animal shelters.
Another aspect of the event this year is the classic car cruise-in’s move into a parking lot across the street from the church. That frees up room for booths to line East Street, ranging from face-painting to the Indiana Pacers Fan Van, plus — new this year — an Indianapolis Motor Speedway booth.
A DJ will keep the music going as luau-goers take in the activities and dine on homemade pulled pork and baked beans with chips, drinks and sundaes.
They can drop off used cellphones for donation to Alternatives Inc. in Anderson, a shelter serving residents of Hancock and nearby counties who are victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
The church accepts donations toward its ministries at the luau from those so inclined, but Sharon Feister of the church stressed there’s no obligation to do so.
And though a couple of luau guests have later shown up at a church service over the years, and greeters at the luau will have information about the church available for those interested, those going to the luau won’t be pressured in that way, either, Feister said.
“It’s really more of a fun event,” she said. “It’s just a chance for people to gather.”