Mothers unite to develop Facebook page, family festival

Oct 15, 2021


What started as an online effort to bring local mothers together has morphed into an in-person family fall festival that organizers hope will further unite the community. 

The inaugural festival will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 outside St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 351 Elm St. The festivities will include a costume contest, touch a truck with Dartmouth police and fire vehicles, a bounce house, pumpkin painting, cookie decorating, a performance by Toe Jam Puppet Band, face painting and a photo booth, among other offerings.

The effort began through the formation of a Facebook page about a year ago, inspired by St. Peter’s Rector Rev. Scott Ciosek.

He reached out to several people in the church community suggesting that a mother’s group might unite families in the community. Three young mothers _ Molly Armando, Nicole Kloss and Katie Soares _ decided to create a Facebook page. 

The page, Dartmouth Mom’s Group @ St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, was an immediate hit.  Within a day, 100 people had joined the group, which is not limited to church members. The group now has 160 members. 

The page offered mothers in and around Dartmouth the chance to connect, share tips to questions such as the best way to break children away from pacifiers, and to seek out and provide items such as car seats, Armando said.

This started as a way “to bring moms together during isolated times for many of us,’’ Kloss said.

“We wanted to create a safe space for moms to support one another and share ideas for raising our children in the area,’’ she said. “We're all just looking for human connection these days and we are truly amazed at just how much this group has grown in such a short time.’’

That led to plans for the Oct. 23 festival. Admission is free, although donations are encouraged to cover the cost of the festival and upcoming activities. Food will also be available. 

“This is a good opportunity to meet people,’’ Soares said. “The community aspect of it is really special.’’ 

The women hope that, if the festival is a success, more events will follow. They are considering a meet and greet with Santa and an Easter egg hunt.

“We are looking for ways to bring the kids together but also want to do events that are focused on moms,’’ Armando said. Yoga classes and mommy and me gatherings are possible, she said.

The festival should be “great fun,’’ Soares said. “It’s a safe opportunity to get kids together and moms. I feel like it’s just the start of more events to come.’’ 

Echoing her fellow group members, Kloss looks forward to more activities ahead. “We are so grateful for the outpouring support we have received from the community to make our ideas reality,’’ she said. “ We're looking forward to seeing what's next.’’