|Parish festival promises family fun|
|Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:31 PM|
BY ERIN COX
OTTOVILLE — One big family picnic, or better known as the annual Ottoville Immaculate Conception Parish Festival, will take place Sunday with many favorite events returning and some new events on the schedule as well.
The church has hosted the Parish Festival for many years as a fundraiser to earn money for the upkeep of the church, Parish Center and for the education of the kids, said Lenora Ball, chairperson for this year’s festival.
“I remember going to it as a kid and my parents helping out with it,” Ball said. “It’s been going on for over 50 years at least.”
The big money-maker for past festivals has been the family-style dinners. Ball said she expects to continue that tradition this year.
“Everyone from miles around comes to it,” Ball said. “It’s always a big hit.”
The dinners will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m in the air-conditioned dining hall. The chicken and beef dinners are served with all the trimmings plus homemade desserts. A carry-out option is available, as well as a drive-through. A combo beef and chicken dinner only is available using the drive-through.
Another main event returning this year is The Raffle Booth that has its drawings at 8 p.m.
“Businesses and parishioners donate all items for the raffle,” Marcie Hoehn, a chairperson for the raffle said.
A folding table, an oak filing cabinet, a kid’s picnic table, a rocking chair, a lamp and bikes are all up for the raffle this year.
“We have over 50 items for the raffle now and we usually get some last minute donations as well,” Sue Beining, a chairperson for the raffle, said. “It’s great because we have kid and adult items so there’s something for everyone.”
Since all the items are donated to the raffle, it always makes a good profit, Beining said.
“A lot of people take part in the raffle and it always does really well, so we hope it does just as well this year” she said. “Everyone should come out and have a good time.”
The tickets will be for sale at the festival for $1 each or $5 for six tickets. Participants do not need to be present to win.
Other returning features of the festival are the craft booth, where people can go throughout the day to make crafts that will be raffled off at night; and a corn hole tournament for adults and children to participate in.
“The corn hole teams can consist of a kid and an adult, two kids or two adults,” Ball said. “The challenge is always there for the kids to beat the adults.”
New features for the event are a treasure hunt for the kids and homemade ice cream and doughnuts.
The festival will also have live entertainment throughout the day provided by local bands The Brass Notes and Real Life Somebodies. The Brass Notes, a longtime hometown band, will provide music underneath the beer tent from 4:30-6 p.m. Real Life Somebodies, a young alternative rock band from Ottoville, will play from 6:30-8 p.m.
A baked-goods booth with homemade cakes, noodles, cookies and more will open at 8 a.m. A lunch stand will also be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., featuring homemade soups, sandwiches, french fries and desserts.
Children and adults can keep entertained with amusement rides, indoor bingo, pop toss, a fish pond, putt putt golf, a petting zoo and other activities throughout the day.
A kiddie tractor pull will also take place from 2-4 p.m. and visitors can stop by The Historical Room on the second floor of the Parish Center from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“The Historical Room is like a museum of pictures of all the different communion classes, priests and just old things from the church that aren’t used anymore and have been kept to show the past of the church,” Ball said.
Ball expects a higher turnout this year than last year.
“The heat was unbearable last year and we were a little down,” Ball said. “We’re looking for a lot better turnout this year with the nice weather we’re suppose to have.”
The church has a new priest as well after recently welcoming the Rev. Jerry Schetter. Ball said Rev. Schetter has encouraged everyone to come out and enjoy one big family picnic.
“We’re so fortunate to have a faith-based, church community,” Ball said.
Planning for the festival starts at the beginning of the year with a meeting between the chairperson of the festival and all the managers of each of the individual features.
“Everyone just kind of does their own thing throughout the year to get ready for it,” Ball said. “Everything just falls into place and we all work together. It’s just so neat to see it all work out in the end.”
Ottoville Immaculate Conception Parish is located at 189 Church St., Ottoville.