A celebration of local school staff and the return of students to school will be hosted on the 900 block of Des Moines Street this Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Chad Halbach, senior pastor at Webster City Church of Christ, said the block party will encompass the whole street, as he received permission from the City Council to block off the streets between Division and Bank Streets. This is the first block party Halbach has hosted in Webster City. He has done similar events in Laramie, Wyoming where Halbach planted a church from scratch and eventually left to come to Webster City. He said the events were always about serving the community.
"I think, the church is often really good about saying things about Jesus and not so good at showing people what it looks like," Halbach said. "We had some really good success in just trying to love people and care about people and that's really what this event is about. We're grateful for the teachers and the people who serve in our school district here."
Halbach said the main focus of the event is to appreciate teachers and all who work at Webster City schools. Those who work at local schools, as well as families from the community are invited to the block party. The free event has also involved several local businesses according to Halbach, which includes Casey's, McDonalds, Hy-Vee and Fareway. Those businesses have donated gift cards to raffle off, and there will be special drawings just for teaching staff. Halbach said Bob Van Diest has also paid for a bounce house that will be at the event.
"This really is a community event that is happening right in front of the church here," Halbach said.
The event will also host free food and games. Free music will be provided from the band "Isosceles," comprised of Matt Sprague, Mike Jessen and Elias Matter. The band performs for the Church of Christ during Sunday worship. Halbach said the band will play secular music, recalling that a song from "Dire Straits" is on the setlist. Halbach said the purpose of this event is to bring community members together at a meaningful time for families.
"This is really about celebrating back to school," Halbach said. "I'm grateful as a pastor, and I want to do that and support people, but I'm a father, I have six kids, and I'm very grateful the kids are back in school. It's always an exciting time to get the kids back to school."