Hawkins UMC hosts ‘Wheels Around Town’ Trike Night

Published 8:07 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2018

By Terri Cowart Frazier and Brandon O’Connor

The Vicksburg Post

On Tuesday, little tikes were riding bikes during Hawkins United Methodist Church’s fourth annual “Wheels Around Town” Trike night.

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The event is offered by the church as a community service and provides activities for ages one- to five-year-olds.

From a miniature schoolhouse to a pint-sized fire station, the Abundance Life Center of the church housed a little town fit for children to ride their bikes and trikes through.    

Julie Townley, who is the program director at the church, said the annual event was started after learning parents were seeking out activities for their little ones.

“Parents from the church and from the community had said there were not enough activities for preschoolers,” Townley said, so the church decided to offer the trike night.

“This has been a very successful event,” Townley said, adding one year they had more than 100 children participate.

This year’s theme for “Wheels Around Town” trike night was Winter Wonderland and activities included crafts, a photo booth, an indoor car wash and there was the snowflake café, which offered complimentary refreshments.

The children also had the opportunity to work their way through an ice skating maze.

“The ice maze is new this year. The children put wax paper on their feet and you have to go through a maze watching out for ice blocks,” Townley said.

Also, the children are able to join the town police and fire squads and participate in putting out fires.

The Rev. Sally Bevill, who is the pastor at Hawkins UMC said, said she thought this outreach ministry exemplifies a church’s mission.

“I think this is the Body of Christ at its best. I think churches are way too insulted and we are called to be community,” Bevill said.

And Sutter Wong was definitely enjoying the evening of fun and fellowship as she skated around on her wax paper skates.

“I’ve been doing a lot of skating through the tunnel,” Wong said, “and I made a snowman and hung it on the house.”

The “Wheels Around Town” trike night was a free event and ran from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the church’s Abundant Life Center.

The tricycles returned Wednesday when the Hawkins pre-school students held their second annual trike-a-thon.

Each of the 40 students raised money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and had the chance to learn bike safety from Vicksburg Police officers.

“They came with the police bikes and they talked to the children about bike safety and wearing helmets,” Hawkins pre-school director Nancy Biggers said. “They talked to them about the parts of their bikes and what they did and why they rode bicycles.”

The students and the police then rode a lap through the gym along the city map that was put down for trike night Tuesday.

“They enjoy getting to bring their bike to school and they enjoy having the Vicksburg Policeman talk to them,” Biggers said. “It gives them a chance to feel comfortable around policemen. They’ll actually not be afraid of them.”