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NC church continues tradition to combat boredom brought on by winter, quarantine


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    MILLS RIVER, North Carolina (WLOS ) — It’s been a long-standing tradition in Mills River, adapted over the pandemic like almost every other event. And now the tradition will continue into the new year.

For over 10 years, Mills River Presbyterian Church has held its Puzzle Fest during January, bringing the community together to construct works of art, piece by piece.

Since the coronavirus pandemic reached into North Carolina back in March 2020, many group events have had to adapt to new rules and regulations. In order to keep the tradition alive and to keep people at home entertained, Mills River Presbyterian began what would become a very popular Puzzle Swap, offering up bins of jigsaw puzzles for people to swap out old for new ones. The puzzle swap started in the summer but will now continue through 2021.

“People drop off puzzles almost daily at the church for us to share with others,” says Kathy Ziprik, elder at Mills River Presbyterian Church, in a press release. “We have six large bins of puzzles. They range from easy puzzles for children all the way up to challenging 2,000 piece puzzles for adults. This has been such a popular endeavor that we’re continuing the Puzzle Swap well into 2021.”

Available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the church, there are now more than 75 puzzles to choose from, church leaders say. Bins of puzzles are placed outside the church entrance via the back parking lot and are clearly marked. People are asked to wear face masks while picking up and dropping off puzzles.

“National Puzzle Day is January 29th,” says Ziprik. “We encourage people to come out and find their own challenging puzzles all month long to celebrate the art and skill of puzzling.”

Church leaders say people are encouraged to bring in used puzzles and take as many new ones as they like in order to combat the boredom often found in the winter months, combined with the pandemic.

While in the parking lot, people are also encouraged to visit the Little Free Library to borrow children and adult books.

Mills River Presbyterian Church is located at 10 Presbyterian Church Road in Mills River, accessible from Haywood Road or Highway 280. The church is hosting Sunday church services at 10am via Zoom. For more information, call 828-891-7101.

What: Puzzle Swap
When: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Mills River Presbyterian Church – 10 Presbyterian Church Road, Mills River, NC

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Article Topic Follows: National/World

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