It was a party all weekend in Parnell. Located ten minutes north of town, St. Patrick Church held its annual festival, drawing visitors both from Lowell as well as across the greater Grand Rapids area. It was three days of fun for all who attended.
The festival kicked off with a 5K race on Friday night.
Runners and walkers took a route that went down Parnell Ave. and 4 Mile before heading back to the church grounds. Although a timed race with awards for the top finishers, the race drew plenty of families who walked or jogged the route at their own pace.
After the race, children filled the playground while adults filled in to listen to singer Kari Lynch who performed that evening.
The incoming 8th grade class at St. Patrick School manned a concessions booth that grilled burgers, brats and hot dogs all weekend. The booth is major fundraiser for the class and helps pay for their 8th grade class trip as well as a parting gift to the school.
On Saturday, the festival started with an auction that supports tuition assistance at St. Patrick School as well as other parish activities and ministries.
There were plenty of silent auction items available.
Plus, 72 live auction items were awarded to the highest bidder.
After the live auction, the Las Vegas tent and beer tent opened with music from the group Alive and Well entertaining the crowd.
Sunday was family fun day with games for the kids.
Bingo for the adults.
And the Conklin Ceili Band for everyone.
Of course, the chicken dinner is a tradition that brings many people back to the St. Patrick Festival year after year.
Classic cars are another tradition at the St. Patrick Festival.
Cars dating back to the 1930s lined the drive by the school and church rectory.
In the back, a collection of tractors reflected the agricultural heritage of Parnell.
A relatively recent addition to the St. Patrick Festival is a quilt show held in the church.
Quilts covered the pews and even hung from the balcony.
Of course, no St. Patrick Festival would be complete without a collection of barnyard animals. This year saw the standard farm fare, including chickens and horses, in addition to more exotic animals. Both an alpaca and pot-bellied pig were on-hand for the festivities.
For more photos from the 2017 St. Patrick Festival, visit our Flickr album.