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Galas, bingo games at harvest festival

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POSTED August 28, 2014 1:09 a.m.

Bingo is back at St. Anthony’s. Not in the form of a weekly fund-raiser for the school as it was for many years. This time, its comeback is a short two-day entertainment venue incorporated into the annual Harvest Festival set for the weekend of Sept. 20-21.

The games, which will be open both days of the festival, is just one of the few changes that will set this year’s family-friendly festival apart from previous years’ offerings. For one thing, gone will be the live auction that usually followed the outdoor Mass on Sunday. In its place will be “big galas,” something that is still being finalized.

But auctions will continue to remain a part of the festival, the one major fund-raiser for the parish and the school. Both live and silent auctions will still be there, albeit under a different venue from the outdoor event that festival revelers have known it in years – decades, in fact. Auctions will be a part of the galas, said Lois Wiedenhoeft. She and husband Keith are replaying their role as festival chairpersons for the second time this year.

“It seems like other parishes had been doing that. People want something different,” Wiedenhoeft said, explaining the festival’s departure from tradition.

The “generation of people who used to do that (live auction) – the older generation – are not there anymore,” she said.

The auctions have “done well in previous years, but the people who did the live auction quit and nobody else wants to do it,” she further explained. “We have to change the (festival) format and make it available to all people, reach a wider audience (by presenting) a whole different venue.”

Except for those few changes, the festival will have the same entertainment smorgasbord – from food booths offering a whole array of culinary tastes from Filipino to Mexican, Portuguese, Italian and the staple American food fare, to children’s games, a used-book sale, a farmer’s market where fresh vegetables will be on sale, continuous entertainment on stage featuring local talents, the and the beer garden for adults only.

Seats for the bingo games can be reserved now at the church office or after the Masses on Sundays preceding the festival. For $10, you can reserve a seat which will give a bingo packet for the game at the door. Extra packets can be purchased both days of the festival at $1 for each game. There will small cash prizes given away to winners. There will door prizes as well.

Other major prizes will also await lucky holders of winning tickets in a separate drawing held both days of the festival. Prizes will include a bicycle, video games, and other big-ticket donated items from local businesses.

As with previous years, there will be souvenir shirts that will be on sale, as well as grocery tote bags, both bearing the theme of this year’s festival – One in Spirit, One in the Lord. The art for the logo was done by Sister Ann Venita Britto. The T-shirts will be prized according to sizes. They will be available in kids’ sizes as well as adult sizes up to XXL. The tote bags are $3 apiece.

The shirts and tote bags may be purchased at the church office at 531 E. North St., or after all the Masses on Sundays leading up to the festival.

The spiritual highlight of the annual festival, as usual, will be the outdoor concelebrated Mass on Sunday held on the festival grounds, starting at 10 a.m. The festival on that day will begin right after the Mass.

The event is open to the public; one does not have to be a member of the parish. Admission is free.

Festival hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21.

The church is located on the corner of E. Fremont Avenue and E. North Street. The festival grounds are on the corner of E. Fremont Avenue and Sutter Street.

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