News

Horn of plenty

'Great year and great time to show God our gratitude'

The Marion Avenue Baptist Church has built a massive cornucopia on stage. The pastor believes it is the world’s largest. (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)
The Marion Avenue Baptist Church has built a massive cornucopia on stage. The pastor believes it is the world’s largest. (Caitlin Yamada/ The Union)
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WASHINGTON — On the stage of the Marion Avenue Baptist Church sits a cornucopia.

A 20-foot-long cornucopia with nearly a ton of 17 different types of fruit and vegetables.

A tradition that started more than 45 years ago has gotten a reprise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pastor Joseph Brown said in the past the church was unable to do both the cornucopia and its annual live Christmas production, so the Thanksgiving display was put on hold for 10 years.

To keep people safe, the church decided to postpone the Christmas show, giving an opportunity for the cornucopia to be built, Brown said.

Brown said throughout the Bible it talks about the need for everyone to be grateful.

“In 2020, we felt it would be a great year and a great time to show God our gratitude for these blessings,” he said.

Several members of the church took off work and built the horn. Plywood rings of decreasing size were constructed and wrapped in burlap.

Brown said it took 10 to 15 people working for two days to assemble the massive structure.

Once it was constructed, the display was filled with real fruit donated by area grocery stores. Brown said Fareway donated a large majority.

Brown believes it is the world’s largest cornucopia.

Surrounding the horn are a variety of antiques, animal pelts and grown products. Brown said all of the items represent God’s abudant blessings from the earth. Everything surrounding the cornucopia is from the Southeast Iowa area.

After the Wednesday night service, the display will be deconstructed and most of the fruit will be donated. The rest will be sold to church members at a reduced rate.