Some things that are old are new again at St. Anthony of Padua’s annual harvest festival. And a few of the attractions will be appearing for the first time during the Sept. 17-18 weekend’s family-oriented extravaganza.
Interested in remote control cars?
“That’s the new game. It’s for anyone, for everyone. We’re going to do it in the gym,” said Lois Wiedenhoeft who, with husband Keith, are chairing the parish’s one and only major fundraiser during the year.
There will be race cars made available to players, but would-be participants may also bring their own toys if they have it, Wiedenhoeft added.
“People can race against each other,” if they want to, she explained.
If you are a fan of Portuguese donuts, you will have the opportunity to indulge yourself in this palate-pleasing delicacy which is making its debut at this year’s harvest festival.
“That’s brand new; somebody wants to do that,” Wiedenhoeft said.
In the newly expanded Beer Garden corner of the festival grounds will be another new entertainment called Beer, Bacon and Bands to be held Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m.
“Our very own Sunnyvalley (Smoked Meats owned by parishioner Bill Andreetta) is going to be there,” said Wiedenhoeft.
Fans of Disney characters will have something enjoyable to experience and a chance to meet their favorite fantasy characters as well during the two-day celebration. These are local entertainers who “will dress up as Disney characters and do a parade” and offer face-painting to the young ones, she said.
Attractions like the nickel pitch which were missing in recent years are making a comeback this year due to popular demand.
All that plus the tried-and-true mainstays that have made the harvest festival the longest-running yearly event in the community will be there for young and old and families to enjoy.
“We’re going to have the things we’ve had in the past,” Wiedenhoeft said.
These include the perennially popular live outdoor auction plus a silent auction inside the gym, bingo games in the Rec Hall, multicultural food that include the Filipino culinary fares lumpia and adobo plus the always popular Mexican tacos and tamales, fresh produce stand, and book sale.
Festival hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18. The outdoor bilingual mass held on the festival grounds at 10:30 a.m. will precede the start of the festivities on Sunday.
The annual harvest festival provides an opportunity for members of the parish to meet fellow parishioners, enjoy family-oriented wholesome fun and games, and build community. Parishioners are invited to bring not just their families but their friends as well to come and enjoy the camaraderie.
An opportunity drawing offering big-ticket prizes will be open to everyone. Tickets will be on sale on the festival grounds both days. Prizes in the past have included trip to Disneyland, TV sets, and bicycles.
The festival theme this year, Harvest of Mercy, is in conjunction with the worldwide church’s observance of the Year of Mercy as declared by Pope Francis last year. To mark that theme, Sister Ann Venita Britto and her group are once again selling souvenir T-shirts emblazoned with a decorative art work. In the past, Sister Ann designed the T-shirt logos. This year, parish children were asked to submit their concept designs expressing the harvest festival theme. She picked three from those submitted which she then “put together” for the final design. The T-shirts will be available in adult and children’s sizes.