NORTHFIELD CENTER — St. Barnabas Parish is gearing up for its 17th annual festival, which will run June 15-17 at its grounds on Brandywine Road. It will feature fun, food and entertainment.
Father’s Day being Sunday, the festival will wind up with specials for fathers who attend from 3 to 5 p.m.. They will receive free items, plus coupons worth $10.
Festival co-chairwoman Deanna Butler said planners like to make the festival something children can do with their families, especially their dads.
"We try to make the festival a destination for Father’s Day so families can come enjoy it together, and specifically with their fathers," she said.
The festival will run Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. until midnight and Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m.
Among activities offered during the three-day event are food stands and trucks, carnival rides, a kids tent under the pavilion, games of chance in an air-conditioned casino, kids games, a basket raffle, free shuttles and midnight Mass on Saturday.
Bingo will be played Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. in Bedell Commons, and a raffle drawing will offer a prize of $10,000, plus a $1,000 consolation prize. Those drawings will take place Sunday at 8:45 p.m.
A Texas Hold’em tournament will start Sunday at 1 p.m. in the gymnasium. There will be an air-conditioned casino featuring Black Jack, Let-It-Ride and poker and Wheels. A beginner player table will be available the first hour each night.
Kicking off the festival Thursday at 6 p.m. will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by rosary at 7 and an opening Mass at 7:30.
Bands scheduled to play are Pieces of Eight at 7 p.m. Friday, Renegade Gentlemen at 7 p.m. Saturday and Mike Wojtila and his polka band at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Butler said bingo and the polka band on Sunday are two things that appeal to senior citizens, and she added Wojtila is new to the festival this year.
Food will include elephant ears, kettle corn, french fries, gyros, corn dogs, snowies, fresh-squeezed lemonade, pizza, smoothies, hamburgers, hot dogs and hot pretzels, plus there will be a beer tent.
The Walk of Saints is returning this year, and the rosary will be read every hour during the festival. It will be the third year for both activities.
"The Walk of Saints was so popular the first year we decided to make it a permanent installation last year," Butler said, adding an Eagle Scout installed pedestals for the saints’ statues to make it permanent.
"Different ministries will lead the rosaries each hour," she added. "That really is a way for us to reach out and share our faith during such a huge event."
Festivalgoers can park at Nordonia Middle School and Northfield Elementary, with shuttle service running to and from the church grounds. That service is provided one hour before the daily starting times until one hour after closing.
"This is my favorite weekend of the year," summarized Butler. "People from all over Northeast Ohio come. It’s a really special weekend for the parish. The bands, food and fun are great. Anyone who hasn’t attended should try it."
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 ext. 4189 or firstname.lastname@example.org