This post documents my experience on July 30, 2010.
St. Peter’s isn’t the Roman Catholic Church it used to be, although it does retain a little Italian charm. And, while it’s not the typical ethnic parish festival I would follow, it is the parish I grew up in. Therefore, I’ve decided to show a few reasons why people should visit local parish festivals, no matter one’s faith. Using St. Peter’s as a model, here are some of those reasons.
1.) They are more intimate.
Not only are parish festivals usually free – there have less crowds and parking hassles. There also have shorter lines to food and games.
Also, if it’s a parish in your community or town, you’re more likely to know people there. Going with my mother, brother and niece, we saw about 10 people we knew.
Half of these people were family, mind you, but it still counts.
2.) Entertainment for the kids
Face it…kids are hard to please. Does this look like a child who would be happy with just about anything?
No way, dude. She’s bored and demands immediate stimuli.
…a kids’ tent with inexpensive games and activities…
…and even a climbing tower (for the older ones).
Just be careful about any of those win-a-goldfish games.
As opposed to the lottery and any casino on the planet, your best bet of winning anything is through a parish gambling event. The odds are much more in your favor.
And, if your luck isn’t what it used to be, perhaps your losses will be considered a church donation in the eyes of a higher power (just don’t try to declare such a thing with the IRS).
St. Peter’s offered varied ways to gamble, such as…
…Bingo pull tabs…
…big money raffles…
…and some old-fashioned poker.
I bought some tickets for the raffles but lost. Ah well.
Although there may not be as much selection as a larger festival, the food offered is likely to be an ethnic reflection of the community, as well as cheap. At St. Peter’s, Italian and Polish dishes dominate the menus.
Very cheap. And very ethnic.
This meatball sandwich was SO worth $3.50!
Even with some prepackaged ingredients, you’re bound to find a better quality of food at a parish festival. You’re also bound to find a nice bake sale table…
…like this one…
…covered with all the cookies your grandmother probably made.
The bake sale alone can merit a visit to a parish festival.
So not everyone comes to a parish festival by choice. Due to one’s promise to the church, many come to spend a certain amount of time as a volunteer.
Others still may even have a child attending the parish school. Necessary documents are conveniently available during festival hours…
…on festival grounds.
Both these groups can socialize, gamble, and eat in their free time. Fortunately, if worse comes to worse…
…there’s always the beer tent.