LeClaire_inlineLECLAIRE, Iowa—LeClaire Baptist Church took advantage of a community event, Tug Fest, to reach out to its neighbors.

Tug Fest is an annual three-day event in early August in which a rope is stretched across the Mississippi River from LeClaire, Iowa, to Port Byron, Ill. The tug of war has drawn attention from ESPN and other national news sources over the years. The weekend consists of the tug, a parade, a large fireworks display, and a carnival on both sides of the Mississippi River.

For the last 13 years LeClaire Baptist Church, located on the parade route, has hosted a Community Tailgating Party in its parking lot. Each year church members volunteer to grill hotdogs, serve food, do face painting, hand out church literature, lead a drawing for prizes, and simply mingle with people.

“The church sees this as a great outreach and an opportunity to be involved in their community,” Pastor Tim Moore says. “The Tailgating Party has become a well-known event during the weekend, but more importantly, it has given LeClaire Baptist Church many opportunities to reach out to their neighbors.”