Church productions come 
to life through sight and smell

Snow and apple pie scent help churches convey the wonders of any season through visual and olfactory effects.

By David Messer

Christmas plays in churches often center around the Nativity story and the birth of Christ while others explore the theme of attracting lost souls back to the church through miracles.

Dustin Farmer, technical director of First Baptist Church of Hemet, CA, says. “As we began to plan for our Christmas production last year, we wanted to add something new to our program. We had the sights and sounds of Christmas, but wanted something more.

“We purchased two scent machines and were able to add the smells of Christmas into our auditorium. We used the apple pie and Christmas tree scent. Our audience thoroughly enjoyed the experience of walking into our auditorium and smelling the life-like scents that were present throughout the room. It was a big hit with the people as they entered the building,” he notes.

Roy Seydel of Calvary Christian Academy, San Diego, CA, says the same thing: “We have yearly Christmas events where we use the Evaporative Snow Machine. Since we are located in San Diego, the snow effects are always a hit with the kids. The units are easy to manage; simply add the concentrate and water and we’re ready to go.”

SnowMasters is known for its “Made in America” product quality, warranties and customer service. Francisco Guerra, the company’s founder, is affectionately known as the “Snowman” in his hometown of northern Alabama. From his Willie Wonka-like factory of fog, smoke, cryo, bubbles and snow machines, his expansive retail division of the special effects plant and research facility brings smiles to the faces of adults and children throughout the world.

Amy Sanchez of Faith Family Church in Victoria, TX, has been using them as a special effects provider for about 10 years. “The equipment is easy to use. I can’t imagine a Christmas production without their snow. The snow adds that extra ‘Wow’ effect we won’t settle without.”

Ronnie Hendricks at Highland Baptist Church in Florence, AL knows that “audiences are very discerning, even in church productions. We were looking for just the right ‘wow’ factor to make our Living Christmas Tree presentation really memorable,” he says. “When our principle characters sat in a sleigh, singing ‘White Christmas’, and it began to gently snow across the front of the church, there was an audible gasp from the audience. The realistic falling snow, coupled with the stage snow effects, created exactly the effect we were hoping to achieve.

He says that even smells are an important part of memories and first impressions. “We chose to utilize the ScentZone scent machines, welcoming our audiences with the fresh scent of peppermint as they entered our worship center, a scent that seamlessly changed to evergreen as they moved through the lobby area.” In fact, scent is the strongest of all human physical senses, evoking memories and emotional responses.

“We’ve also just purchased a bubble machine to use in our upcoming children’s choir production. It takes place ‘underwater,’ and the bubbles rising from behind the set are going to create an amazing effect. While we could have rented a bubble machine for a modest initial investment, we’ll get years of use by our music and children’s ministries: back-to-school events, fall festivals, summer water activities, church picnics, and more.

“Which kids don’t like bubbles?,” asks Hendricks

David Messer is marketing director of SnowMasters Special Effects, Lexington, AL.[ ]

Peppermint scent, snow cause ‘wow’

ECOscen is a new edge in fragrance technology — setting an ambient, distinguished background for services; it has long been used in gatherings for funeral services to make visitations more comfortable. The ScentZone is a cost effective fragrance delivery system offering coverage up to 2,500 square feet. Scent systems are available with coverage up to 10,000 square feet.

Evaporative Snow is state of the art faux (fake) snow that dissolves leaving little to no residue. It is used in major theme parks throughout the world and has been used in numerous movies including “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to portray a realistic snow effect. When the machines are used properly, they leave no moisture and when used with the right settings, can be run continually without causing slippery surfaces.


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