It’s almost Fall and the Saint Mary’s Catholic Church Annual Fall Festival will be held this Sunday, Sept. 16 from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The 2018 Fall Festival will offer free admission and parking and all are encouraged to attend.
The event, which is an annual fundraiser for the church, will offer a silent auction, a variety of food booths, a game area, a bakery booth, a Chinese auction, a “Buy-It-Now” boutique corner, door prizes, and live entertainment.
A diverse assortment of authentic ethnic and cultural cuisines will be available. The Fall Festival will offer: a Hispanic booth, an Italian booth, an American booth, a Cajun booth, a German-Polish booth, and carry-out orders will be available to take home.
Dinner, drink, and dessert tickets will be available for purchase. For a total of $7, attendees can enjoy an entrée, drink, and dessert. A $5 entrée ticket can be redeemed at any of the food booths and drink and dessert tickets will both be sold for $1 each.
Door prize tickets will be provided with the purchase of a food order and with Chinese auction stubs. Prizes will be given away every 30 minutes.
The game area, which is available with the purchase of a separate ticket, will feature a variety of activities for children to include: an inflatable Bouncy House, a bean bag toss, an inflatable obstacle course, a fish bowl, ring toss, Jenga, and a dunk tank. Children can also enjoy cotton candy, popcorn and, if the weather is warm, Sno-Cones.
The Chinese and silent auctions, the Buy-It-Now boutique, and the bake sale booth are all located inside the Parish Family Life Center at the end of the St. Mary Catholic Church grounds.
The bakery booth will sell homemade cakes, pies, breads, jellies, jams and candies, and the “Buy It Now” boutique will offer items such as purses, scarves, wallets, candy dishes, candles, tote bags, costume jewelry, et cetera.
The silent and Chinese auctions will offer a number of items to purchase and win.
Some of the silent auction items include: a one-hour private airplane ride, a functional 1940s antique radio, a security camera, motion detectors, an overnight stay at a lake house on Watts Bar Lake for a party of six, a bucket of lottery tickets and champagne, furniture, five pounds of “wild caught” fresh shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, oil paintings from a local artist, a spa basket, food baskets, stained glass, a tool caddy and kit, gift cards from numerous local businesses, a child’s bicycle and helmet, and many more.
The Chinese auction will feature more than 50 baskets and items with values ranging in price from $35 and up. There is a variety of merchandise suited for men, women, children, families, and pets. With the purchase of game cards, participants have a chance to play and win any of the items with 100 tickets.
Entertainment by local musicians will be provided under the “big tent.” The entertainment line-up includes:
Anna Luce — contemporary music at 12 p.m.
Caelan Paul — vintage vocalist at 12:30 p.m.
McKee Production DJ — dining music at 1:15 p.m.
Elvis Impersonator — gospel singing at 1:30 p.m.
Caelan Paul — vintage vocalist at 2:30 p.m.
Esteban Salazar — Columbian vocalist and pianist at 3:30 p.m.
Shaun Amato — Blues Brothers at 4 p.m.
Guided tours of St. Mary Catholic Church will also be available.
The annual Fall Festival, which began circa 1997, originally started as a food festival featuring ethnic and cultural foods, to represent the varying ethnicities and cultures in the parish. Organizers begin planning this event in early Spring each year. St. Mary moved to its current campus in 2004.
Rev. John Arthur Orr, who was named pastor on Jun. 30, noted this excitement for the Fall Festival.
“It’s the first fall festival since I’ve been here and it’s great for all of the parish to get together and welcome others,” said Orr.
Boni Kross, who has been a parishioner for more than 30 years, also expressed her enthusiasm for the festival fundraiser.
“It’s exciting because we have some great items, great participation, good food, and we will have a lot inside to accommodate for any possible weather,” said Kross. “It’s good to be associated with people who have a good cause, are motivated, and work together.”
The festival site, St. Mary Catholic Church, is located at 1291 E. Madison Avenue, just east of Prof. Powers Park — formerly known as Knox Park.
Parking is available on the paved areas for handicapped and drop offs. All others are asked to use the gravel and grass parking areas.