HOLLIDAYSBURG - Football fans and people looking to have some fun are invited to a tailgate party on Sept. 23.
There is only one requirement for admission: You need to be between the ages of 20 and 35.
The informal get-together will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Legion Park in Hollidaysburg.
(Courtesy photo) Members of Ignite planning a tailgate party are (from left)?Tina Geesey, Travis and Erin Lingafelt and Brenden Van Buren. The event will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 23, rain or shine.
It is being sponsored by Ignite, a group of young adults who attend First Presbyterian Church in Hollidaysburg.
The event is an opportunity to get to know other young adults while having fun. Horseshoes, bocce, kickball, ladder ball, football, and other outdoor sports will be part of the afternoon.
Tina Geesey, 22, of Duncansville said she and the other organizers have been texting and tweeting friends as well as inviting them on Facebook.
"People our age are always looking for something to do," she said.
"It's a time to hang out before the [Steelers] game. Get your belly full and go watch it on TV," she said.
Tailgate-goers will chow down on a variety of picnic fare, including pulled pork sandwiches, pasta salad and side dishes.
To make the party complete, the classic rock band Hot Wax will perform.
"It's something social to do, said Brenden Van Buren of Hollidaysburg.
He hopes it will be an opportunity for attendees to meet new people because after college not too many young adults return to the area. He said most of his buddies live elsewhere, but the friends he has invited plan to attend.
The event is open to singles and married couples, said Erin Lingafelt, 30, of Altoona.
"There is a lack of things to do for our age group besides typical bar hopping," she said.
"It's a way to open the door, to get people interested in the group," Lingafelt said. "Your religious background does not matter. You could be questioning [spiritual matters] or have a strong faith base."
She said after the tailgate, the group will meet regularly at the church and discuss spiritual issues as well as a social time. The first meeting is at 6 p.m. Oct. 7.
"We will not focus on the Presbyterian faith," Lingafelt said. "The group is open to all churches, all beliefs."
"It will be an informal gathering, very open," she said. "We will let the group decide where the discussion is going."
Lingafelt said she and her husband, Travis, were approached by Pastor Chuck Monts about organizing Ignite.
Monts, pastor of First Presbyterian, said, "Young adults in church are so few and far between."
He said worship services are not geared to their needs.
"People in their 20s and 30s are not moved by hymns," he said. "My preaching style is traditional. Frankly, I am impressed that they show up. I felt a need to offer them something more - a fellowship with their peers."
"The mainline churches are not giving them options to explore what God has for them," Monts said.
"It's time to build a bridge," he said. He said the group offers an opportunity to bring people together who may be looking for a fellowship group where they can have fun and get to know others without expectations.
He said he wants to encourage young adults to explore their journey of faith and to determine where God fits into their lives.
"Where are young adults being nurtured?" he asked. "The church should be trying to nurture young adults."
"We all need relationships, jobs and money," Monts said, "but God's grace gives us a purpose for life. It give much more meaning and direction to those other things. It is my understanding that God makes a big difference in life. We have a responsibility to invite people into that journey."