Parish Festival kicks off Friday

By Haylee Pence

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PIQUA – Returning for its 50th annual festival is the St. Mary Parish Festival full of fun and festivities for the Piqua community. The festival is being held from 5-10 p.m. on Friday, June 3 and from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 4. It will be located at the St. Mary Catholic Church, 528 Broadway in Piqua.

The festival began in 1970 and was previously held at the Knights of Columbus Hall. It was moved early on to the parish grounds at the St. Mary Church.

“One former chairperson recalled that Charlie Drapp flew his plane above the festival grounds and took pictures so the group could remember where each booth would be placed the following year,” stated Gretchen Roeth.

Following the removal of the Piqua Catholic High School, the festival expanded to allow for an expansion on the foods and games being offered along with carnival rides and an entertainment stage.

The 50th annual festival will include “food vendors, a cake booth, Kiddie Land, games of chance, and more,” according to Roeth. There will also be a grand raffle drawing on Saturday evening. The tickets for the raffle are $2 each or 3 for $5 and can be purchased at the festival.

For $10 each, attendees can purchase a BBQ chicken dinner with two sides. Other food offered includes hamburgers, wings, hot dogs, french fries, and more.

“The chicken dinners are still a really great part of the festival,” the festival chairs, Nick and Michelle Cox, stated. “In recent years, Mitch Hohlbein along with Dave Butt and a group of volunteers fry chicken over pit barbecues.”

Kiddie Land will feature a balloon artist from 6-8 p.m. on Friday and from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday. There will also be Kona Ice available from 5-8 p.m. on Friday and from noon-6 p.m. on Saturday.

The festival will also hold Bingo from 5-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings.

“Lots of work goes into the planning and actual festival itself,” said Nick and Michelle. “It’s a wonderful weekend for both parish members and the community who have been huge supporters over the years.”

Father Dan Hunt, pastor of St. Boniface and St. Mary Parishes, commented, “We couldn’t do this without the many, many volunteers along with the city, neighbors, and those businesses and individuals who support the festival each year. Each one truly adds to the success of the weekend.”