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    Churches planning full weekend with live Candy Land, pets blessing

    This weekend will bring a visit to Candy Castle and the Gumdrop Mountains, before going right to the dogs. And cats.

    Two family-friendly events are being planned at local churches this weekend. On Saturday, the United Congregational Church of Westerly, UCC, will host a life-sized and living Candy Land game. On Sunday, Christ Church invites the community to bring its pets for a Blessing of the Animals service.

    The Living Candy Land event is being coordinated by the church’s Christian Education Board. Children, who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate, will be able to play the well-known Hasbro game in real time on a life-sized game board, complete with living Candy Land characters. There will also be crafts and face painting.

    The event is Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and the cost is $3 per child or a maximum of $10 per family. The church is located at 9 Castle Hill Road, on the corner of Pequot Trail, in Pawcatuck.

    The Blessing of the Animals service will be held on Sunday, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. It will be held at 2 p.m. in the Christ Church sanctuary at 7 Elm St., Westerly. The Rev. Christine Purcell will preside, with a blessing for each animal present, and music will be led by the church choir under the direction of George Kent.

    St. Francis of Assisi, known for his kindness to animals, is celebrated with a feast day on Oct. 4, which is often observed by blessing pets, livestock, and other animals.

    People attending with pets should keep their pets on a leash or in a crate. Light refreshments will be served on the church lawn following the service.

    — Leslie Rovetti



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