NORTHFIELD CENTER Thousands attended the festival at St. Barnabas Parish marking another successful year for the event.
Deanna Butler said Friday night was "packed" with families and festival-goers. There were thousands along the midway Saturday night as the night went on. Games, rides, food, a beer tent and music all drew people to the midway while an indoor casino and bingo let those in attendance cool-off from the heat with temperatures in the 90s all weekend.
Butler said despite the heat, the turn out was impressive.
"It was one of our best years yet," Butler said. "We had a storm come through Sunday afternoon, that drove a lot of people out, but people came back and it was awesome."
She said based on what the parking attendant was telling her and the crowds she observed she is confident more than 10,000 people attended the festival throughout the weekend.
Whether people were first-timers or repeat festival-goers, the event was well-received.
Helene and Greg Measor said they have been attending the festival on and off for years. The Northfield Center couple said they come for the fun, food and gambling.
"There is something for everyone," Greg said, Helene added she likes coming for the festival food.
First time attendees Linda and Alex Loychik, new Sagamore Hills residents, said they saw the event on Facebook and thought it looked interesting.
"We are new to the area so we thought we'd check it out," Linda said. "We were hoping for more adult rides."
Fred and Dottie Billow, of Macedonia, said they attend the festival every year.
"We come for the people and the beer," Dottie said. Fred added it is more of a community event as they don't see as many parishioners as they would like but many community members. He added they love the raffle too.
Butler said she feels the planners have hit a stride and everything went smoothly, as even the vendors complimented her on the organization.
"It gives me chills when vendors say we are one of their favorite festivals to come to," Butler said. "Vendors told me how friendly our volunteers area and they appreciate how much pride they take in our campus keeping it clean."
Butler said she is grateful to all of the volunteers, and community members who attend the event which serves as a fundraiser to help supplement the operating fund and capital expenses for the parish as well as a way to bring the community together.
"It really is Nordonia Hills that makes this event successful," Butler said.
She said the festival serves as an outreach too, with the rosary path and the statues along the path, which were made a permanent installation this year thanks to the work of Austyn Patz, a parish member who built the pedestals for the statues for his Eagle Scout project. The rosary was recited at the top of every hour during the festival allowing community members and parishioners to share their faith.
Briana Barker: 330-541-9432