The Leavenworth County Fair, Part 2

I’m excited to share with you more on the fair! Being our third year, kids came looking for us. There was a line formed every day we arrived. We loved our “groupies” who came every single night and we knew each by name. Many others had come in previous years, which was special to reconnect.

We saw huge enthusiasm from the children. They never seemed to mind the wait time for their balloon or face paint. Believe it or not, some came to the fair just to get their faces painted.

One grandma told me that the tracts we gave out last year were read and re-read so much they fell apart! This year, I found several new ones. See the end of my post for links.

It has proven to be a beautiful way to share the love of Jesus. Many parents asked why we were doing it for free? When we explain that we love kids, and we want them to know how much Jesus loves them and that this avenue is a perfect way for us to do that–it makes total sense to the parents!

A mom shared that she could tell how much effort Mary put into the face painting, treating each one as special and not doing a rush job. I loved that aspect too.

Anna’s balloon creations are complex. It’s not just a few pumps of air and twist. No. Each one requires a specific amount of air and then what she makes involves multiple balloons with all kinds of steps she memorized. Children loved her balloon art!

Different family members came out to the fair each night to help in various ways. They did line management, handed out tracts and visited with people.


I found some new tracts this year.
God Knows My Name (my favorite!)
Frogs (although we use KJV with all our books and just in general, this tract is NIV)
Help! Save Me
Heaven’s Checklist
3 Things God Cannot Do

These three girls were adorable. Here they discussed if they were cousins or just friends!

Christopher helped out with balloons two nights.


Can you tell these girls are best friends?!

A sweet stop in from Nathan and Melanie’s crew!

This girl came every night, and on the final day, she asked if she could paint a butterfly on Anna. With complete confidence, she did the entire thing, no hesitation.

Christopher did a Name 10, Get 20 with young people. That’s Name the 10 Commandments, and if you do, get $20!

This guy named all 10!

The night Jesse came he spent a lot of time handing out tracts and sharing. 

I enjoyed talking to a blog reader one night!

I told you Anna’s creations are incredible!

A really great horse that this guy put around him so he could ride.

The night Christopher brought his whole family, Anna Marie and girls gave out some cards to tell about the booth, and Christopher and Joshua witnessed.

Mary used sparkle glitter to add finishing touches to some of the paints.

You know, part of line control is deciding when to call it a day so we could be timely as the building closed at 10pm. The easiest way to do this happened after counting up the # in line and approximating how much time each would take. Then, we gave the person deemed to be last a balloon, which said End of Line. This worked out to be a light-hearted way to end things because even at 9:30, we’d still have people stopping in wanting a face paint or balloon!

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:
that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of
your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving
together for the faith of the gospel.”
Philippians 1:27

29 thoughts on “The Leavenworth County Fair, Part 2”

  1. What a great way to witness!
    Inspires us all!
    Love how all the family is involved.
    Much love to you all

    1. I, too, love seeing how the family pitches in to support with praying, finances for the actual fair expenses, keeping the girls supplied with limeades to drink while they work, and simply being out there sometimes. The men divide up the evenings so that one is out each night to be there to walk with the girls to the car after the fair.

  2. WOW, This is amazing!!!

    I was SO touched by the fact that you do it free and that you use the opportunity as you should.

    Thank you for sharing this, I am really moved by this amount of love shown to people.

    1. The fair expenses add up with the booth rental, face painting and balloon supplies, tracts, and candy to give the children. We keep track of the expenses and this year our family donations were more than the actual expenses so we gave money back!

  3. Wow, the balloons and face painting are getting more elaborate and neat!!! That is an awesome idea to have kids recite the 10 commandments and get $20. That’s a great way to enter into a gospel conversation. Thanks for sharing your posts! I enjoy reading them all the time.

    1. We heard from others this year that they thought the girls’ skills were continuing to improve. What amazes me, too, is that they have to do what they do quickly. There is always a line so they can’t move slowly. I watched Christopher engage with a group of teens on the 10 commandments, and they were all laughing and having a great time. They even hung around and continued to talk with him when he moved from the 10 Commandments into the Gospel.

  4. Wow! That is amazing face painting! I have never seen it done that well, even in places where you pay! God has truly blessed the family with talent.

    1. I talked to a man waiting while his daughter’s face was painted. He couldn’t believe Mary wasn’t charging when he had paid quite a bit for an inferior face paint at another county fair earlier in the summer. What a joy it is to be able to give people a quality product without charging them for it!

  5. If the face-painting and twisted balloons were simple and mediocre, it would still warm my heart to see the love your family pours into this event. However, the finished products are truly over the top! Thanks for showing an example of one of the many unique ways we can bear fruit.

    1. I agree, and I am sure those who stop by would be grateful even if the output was mediocre. It sure is a blessing to have the girls’ skills doing so well.

  6. Wow! The girls did amazing and I love how everyone contributed to making it a wonderful success for God’s glory! Such an inspiration.

  7. Such a great way to witness! Mary’s face painting is so beautiful! I also love Anna’s balloons, so fun!

  8. Impressive! I would be tempted to wear one of Anna’s balloon creations even at my age. I love that painted shark, and the wide grin of the young man who is wearing it.
    Just a quick safety note: I’m sure Mary uses safe cosmetic glitter, but not everyone may realize she isn’t using craft glitter. Craft glitter is dangerous to use on the body. Just wanted to point this out in case any blog readers were thinking about trying their hand at face painting. Thanks!

  9. I am so impressed by the skill in both the face painting as well as balloon art. I’m afraid if I were tasked with the job everyone would be getting snakes, worms, number ones, or lower case L’s for balloons and a white face with red nose resembling something like a clown for face painting.

    It’s truly a blessing seeing God use talented women like y’all to spread His gospel. Keep up the good work! It’s not in vain.

    1. Danielle, I understand what you are saying! The first year for the county fair face painting, Mary didn’t know how she would do with the amount of time it took for each face paint and the line. I was elected to learn a simple cupcake that goes on the cheek to have another person available to help. I practiced and practiced, but it NEVER looked anything close to Mary’s. I did a handful at the fair for those who chose the cupcake if Mary was busy, but we decided not to have me do that the years since.

    2. Lol! Your examples (snakes, worms, number ones, and lowercase ls) made me laugh out loud! I would be the same, haha!

  10. Wow!!! Mary and Anna are so talented. The face paintings are amazing! And Anna’s balloon creations are truly fabulous! Do they practice these skills year round, or do some “warming up” when it gets close to fair time?

    What fun for the kid recipients, and what joy you give to the parents too, by not charging for this. I bet this is a fair highlight for many kids and parents!!

    1. Last year the girls had some opportunities to use their skills at churches who were having a children’s event of some kind. They practice before the events and then, of course, the event itself is lots of practice. Before the county fair, our house is full of balloon creations as Anna practices and our grandchildren get lots of face paints for Mary’s practice. The parents tell us they are willing to stand in line as long as some of them do because their children request the face paints or balloons and want them enough to wait in line too. We often tell the parents that it takes Mary 3 to 5 minutes per face paint so they can figure out about how long it will take until it is their child’s turn and make the decision as to whether to wait.

  11. mary is very artistic in free hand drawing. wow.

    anna is very good with balloon art….

    sarah is great with writing

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