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The grounds of St. Mary’s Catholic Church were packed with parishioners catching up, playing bingo and grabbing a bite to round out the Labor Day weekend, all for a good cause.
Dee Simon, one of the parishioners who helped organize the St. Mary’s Fall Festival, said donations from this year’s fall festival would go towards preservation of St. Mary’s church windows, which were imported from Germany in the late 1800’s.
“We’re hoping for $25,000 to $30,000 this year,” Simon said. “Last year we raised right around $30,000. The meal always does awesome and the auction is a big event, too.”
To make noodles for the lunch, roughly 15 St. Mary’s parishioners separated over 150-dozen eggs Monday morning, Simon said.
“We average about 950 to 1000 people served in three hours,” Simons said. “Then it’s time for cleanup.”
Father Dave Brownfield of St. Mary’s was out with his dog Timmy during the festival and said it was the people who made the festival the great time it is.
“It’s the camaraderie between the parishioners that makes this what it is,” he said. “Everyone works well together.”
Besides the mouth-watering meals, there was also bingo, kids’ activities including a kiddie tractor pull and a farmer’s market. Dee Kron, who was volunteering at the farmer’s market said there was more variety than in years past.
“They brought in more stuff this year, we just have more of everything,” Kron said. “People were here shopping and looking around when I got here at 9:30 this morning to help set up.”
Marjorie Hora has been a parishioner at St. Mary’s for 91 years, and said the church has always had a dinner around this time.
“It’s been the way we have it now for probably 10 years, before that we would just have a dinner and maybe play bingo,” Hora said. “I like the dinner and the auction, but I’m not a bingo player.”
Hora and her daughter Sue, said they had family who had helped build St. Mary’s well over 100 years ago. Hora said she thought preserving the church’s windows was important.
“It’s a necessity, they’re so beautiful, it just has to be done.”