Throughout its long history, St. Mary Church has held plenty of parish potlucks and picnics. However, about six years ago, it decided to do something different. Church members wanted to hold an event that would bring together parishioners and area residents for an afternoon of fun and fellowship.
The St. Mary Fall Festival was born, and the annual event will be held this Sunday, September 22, from 11:30am-3:30pm in the church located at 402 Amity Street.
Community Event Open to All
This is Melissa Patyi’s first year chairing the festival, and she hopes everyone will feel welcome to stop by on Sunday. “This is a community event,” she explains. “You don’t have to be Catholic to come.”
The day’s activities are intended to offer affordable fun for residents young and old. Punch cards for kids’ games will be available for $3. These allow children to participate in ten activities and then redeem their card for a prize. With showers in the forecast, the games will be held inside this year, but weather-permitting, there will also be an outdoor bounce house and inflatable obstacle course.
Adults may want to participate in one of the many raffles going on during the festival. The main raffle offers prizes of $1000, $700 and $500, and a 50/50 raffle drawing will also be held. Plus, the parish has a wide assortment of baskets that will be raffled off.
The baskets were donated by parishioners and local businesses and represent interests of all kinds. Some baskets are filled with canned goods and other homemade items while others focus on a specific theme such as movie nights or kids’ games. One of the most unusually themed baskets is designed as a zombie apocalypse survival kit. There are also craft beers, art supplies, a birdhouse and more being raffled off.
Tickets for the basket raffles are $1 each or 6 for $5. Festival-goers simply write their contact information on the tickets and drop them in the bins in front of the basket they want to win. All raffle winners will be announced at the end of the festival, but you need not be present to win.
Food Available for Dine-In or Carry Out
No festival would be complete without good food, and the St. Mary Fall Festival is offering a twist on the typical fare.
“We kicked it up a notch this year with the food,” Patyi says, adding that the meal is being catered by Squirrels2bbq using meats from Sobie Meats. There will be indoor and, weather-permitting, outdoor seating, or visitors can take the food to go.
Adult diners get their choice of a pulled pork or pulled chicken sandwich with jambalaya on the side. It also comes with roasted or cheesy potatoes, homemade three-bean salad, a roll, coleslaw or applesauce and a homemade dessert. “You’re getting a lot of food for $10,” Patyi remarks.
A smaller kids meal is available for $5 and includes a corn dog, potato chips, applesauce and a homemade dessert. Complementary lemonade and iced tea will available with both kids and adult meals while beer, wine and pop can be purchased.
Live music from the Eli Roe Band will serve as a backdrop to all the festivities. Festival sponsors include Reagan Family Dentistry, Lowell Family Chiropractic, King Milling, Dr. James Patyi, optometrist and Meijer.
For more information, you can visit the St. Mary Fall Festival event page on Facebook.