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Outreach — The church will combine singing, praying, community outreach for a free fireworks display for its annual 'Extravaganza' celebration

For years, Northside Community Church has dedicated one Sunday to community outreach, forgoing regular services in favor of lending a helpful hand to those who may need it.

But as the event has grown, the church has not only fanned out across the community to hand out free food, but invited the community back to the church to help celebrate a day well spent.

Last year, local professional pyrotechnic Don Jensen upped the ante with an inspired fireworks show for about 500 people and church leaders are hoping more in the community will join in the fun Sunday night when Northside once again celebrates its “Extravaganza.”

Church elder Tony Getsinger was a key organizer a year ago and said all it took was one volley of fireworks to sway his out-of-town guests from Bend and Oklahoma, as the size of the display and the intimate venue of the open field behind the church makes for a true front-row experience for everyone.

“The cool thing is you’re so close to those fireworks, when they go up, your head has to go with it,” Getsinger said. “It’s so fun.”

The congregation has been packing the church’s signature yellow bags with canned goods and loaves of bread donated from Franz for the last month, totaling around 100, and will follow a loose plan to knock on doors all over town.

“Sometimes they say, ‘Yes,’ and sometimes they say, ‘No, but my neighbor could,’ and they’ll point us to somebody,” Getsinger said.

Some of the small groups that hit the streets will pass out 400 ready-to-eat hamburgers and hot dogs, which were donated this year by Jem 100.

After pounding the pavement, the congregation will reconvene at the church for a potluck, after which the public is invited to enjoy a free dessert at 9 p.m., with fireworks to follow at approximately 9:45 p.m.

This year there will be live music to accompany the sunset and a bounce house to keep the children entertained until Jensen lights up the sky.

“Last year was fabulous and this year is going to be better,” Getsinger said.

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