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Harvest festival this weekend
Everything from music, food & games to auction
pic harvest-fest-shirts
Sister Ann Venita Britto, right, and St. Anthony Harvest Festival co-chairperson Robin Karas, show samples of the commemorative T-shirts being sold this year. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

There will be more than the usual family attractions at the annual St. Anthony’s Harvest Festival this weekend.

Joining the food and game booths line-up plus a host of other family-oriented offerings on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17-18, will be a Health Faire booth in the gym which is making its first festival appearance this year. The perennially popular chicken dinner served throughout the day on Sunday, Sept. 18, will have two scrumptious additions as well – a tri-tip meal and an oyster bar. Sunday’s celebration will begin immediately after the 10:30 a.m. concelebrated and bilingual Mass on the festival grounds and will run through 8 o’clock in the evening, so there will be plenty of time for festival goers to sample all three palate pleasers if they so choose.

The regular festival mainstays will be available both days as well, such as the food booths featuring fresh-fried lumpia (Filipino eggroll), tacos, linguica, and pizza, various game booths for children, plus face painting. Used books, one-of-a-kind handmade items such as jewelry and knitted blankets for babies, stuffed animals, and a farmer’s market featuring various fresh produce round out the rest of the booths on tap this weekend.

One of the festival’s biggest attractions every year is returning to its outdoor roots. The live auction, which has been held in the gym in recent years, will be held on the festival grounds again this weekend. Big ticket items that include hay, cattle, trips, homemade Portuguese sweet bread and other donations are up for bid during the lively auction.

Tickets for an opportunity drawing at a buck apiece will be available for purchase both days of the festival. One of the many big prizes awaiting the lucky ticket holders is an 8-day, 7-night vacation get-away to Palm Springs. The drawing for these prizes will be held on Sunday evening at the conclusion of the two-day harvest festival.

Accompanying the various food and games will be continuous entertainment on the festival stage highlighting the area’s talented musicians and other performers.

As Father Pat Walker, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua, stated in his weekly Pastor’s Corner in last Sunday’s parish bulletin, “There is something for people of every age at the harvest festival.”

Commemorative festival T-shirts decorated with this year’s festival theme, United in Christ’s Peace, designed by Sister Ann Venita Britto are now available for purchase. The T-shirts, with sizes for youth as well as adults, will be available also both days of the festival.

Festival Mass schedules this weekend will be as follows:

Saturday, Sept. 17 – 5 p.m. in English, and 7 p.m. in Spanish, both held in the church.

Sunday, Sept. 18 – 7 a.m. in English, and 8:45 a.m. also in English, both held in the church. The outdoor bilingual Mass, which will be concelebrated and with all the church choirs ministering in music, will be held starting at 10:30 a.m. on the harvest festival grounds. There will be no 12:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. Masses on this day.

Festival hours will be Saturday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 18, from 11:45 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Co-chairing this year’s harvest festival are Dan and Robin Karas.

The long-running festival is the major fund-raiser for the church and St. Anthony’s School during the year.

Anyone who would like to donate stuffed animals – either clean, new or nearly new – and any handmade items for the booths as well as for the auction can drop them off at the parish office at 505 E. North Street.

The harvest festival grounds is located on the corner of Fremont and Sutter streets.

For more information, call the church office at (209) 823-7197.