Capri Christian Church is rolling out the red carpet for the return of the community's "snowbird" members and their families.

* The first in a series of annual welcome-back events began with a pancake and sausage breakfast complete with lots of butter, maple syrup, and hot coffee. The smells coming from the kitchen for the past two Sundays were enough to make even the strongest of dieters lose control and dig into a stack of the hot-off-the-grill golden flapjacks, as they were called by some.

* Next was an annual fish fry on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 25. Anglers brought in their catch to fry into golden crispy filets, complete with cornbread, coleslaw and numerous pies. For those who are not fish lovers, plenty of hot dogs are always on the grill.

* On Sunday, Nov. 1, the church has an even larger gathering planned. Families look forward to the annual family fall festival that begins at 4 p.m. with a trunk or treat for the youngsters in the parking lot behind the church. Kids from the neighborhood and surrounding island communities, adorned in their Halloween costumes, will gather goodies from the volunteers who have opened their trunks to offer hundreds of pounds of candies and goodies.

Organizers plan jumping and sliding booths, face-painting stations, active yard events, large board games, and hot dogs, sodas and chips.

"What I liked best about the festival last year was the face painting, bean bag and bottle toss," said Nicole Paul, 9 years old.

Christian country concert

At the conclusion of the outdoor fun at 6 p.m., folks will be invited to gather inside the church sanctuary for a memorable Christian country rock music concert offered by Zack Shelton and his band called '64 to Grayson.' A love offering will be taken to help support the band's ministry.

Shelton, the lead singer and co-founder of the band that specializes in alternative country music, said the band got its start at Kentucky Christian University a few years ago.

"I was hanging out in the dorm, playing my guitar and singing some of the music I had written when Craig Cunningham, a fellow dorm student, and a few others heard me and popped in to ask if they could join the jam session," said Shelton. "This was the first weekend of school for us. We ended up hanging out and playing together often throughout the school years, until finally we found ourselves forming a band and performing for others.

"The band was named '64 to Grayson' as it was the underlying factor that the group had in common. KCU is in Grayson, Ky., and each of the players had to travel Interstate 64 to get there.

"We are so blessed," said Shelton, "being able to go full time and it be our livelihood. We opened our first show for Josh Turner in October 2011 in Midland, Ohio. Those 20 to 30 minutes were the start of something much more than we ever dreamed of.

The band has now performed for as far north as Ohio, traveled down the eastern seaboard to most of those states, and are now on tour here in Florida. Shelton writes most of his own music with the help of Cunningham.

Ale 8, a soft drink company endorses the band. It is a type of ginger ale that is said to be the drink of choice at KCU. Students there have nicknamed it "The Late One," as it contains the caffeine needed for staying up late to study.

The band hopes to give attendees of the family fall festival a show they will not forget.

"We just want to give opportunities for families to come together for wholesome fun in a safe, welcoming, and secure environment," said senior pastor Curt Ayers. "We want to strengthen family ties and show them that our church has many opportunities in which they can come together to worship and learn from one another."

Capri Christian Church is at 111 E. Hilo St. on the Isles of Capri. Guests are welcome.

Contact Ann Hall at

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