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ST. MARYS â€” An annual festival kicks off Friday, netting entertainment, food and rides for area residents.
Holy Rosary Festival officially opens at 5 p.m., and it will run through Sunday evening.
â€śThis is for the school,â€ť said Rob Menker, a member of the Holy Rosary Festival Steering Committee. â€śAll the proceeds go back to the school.â€ť
The funds go toward operating expenses.
â€śWe could not operate the school without the money raised from the festival,â€ť Menker said.
This yearâ€™s festival boasts multiple local bands â€” NixonPerry, The Earthquakers, Nashville Crush, Bubba and Hoss and Free Rider.
â€śThey should come for the great entertainment,â€ť Menker said. â€śWeâ€™ve got the best entertainment around.â€ť
Residents can also come and snack on classic Holy Rosary Festival fare.
â€śWeâ€™ve got great food,â€ť Menker said. â€śThereâ€™s a company coming in doing kettle corn, thereâ€™s homemade ice cream, cotton candy. The lunch stand with brats, sauerkraut and German potato salad. Plus, we have our hamburgers, which are the best hamburgers in town.â€ť
In addition to the $5 four-piece chicken dinners that will be available for purchase and include applesauce and a roll, attendees can also purchase buckets of fried chicken, which will be available from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. Sunday. A 12-piece bucket will cost $11, and a 20-piece bucket is $18.
This yearâ€™s festival will also include the third annual Holy Rosary Chili Cook-off, which will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with judging at noon. Official rules are available at HolyRosaryFestival.org, and those interested in participating can call Shelly Grothause at 419-934-4493 or Peg Hastreiter at 419-733-0279.
â€śThe rides are new this year,â€ť Menker said, adding Cromer United Amusements will be providing the rides. â€śCromerâ€™s bringing in a ferris wheel.â€ť
He added the rides are more geared toward teenagers this year.
â€śWeâ€™ll have more of a variety than weâ€™ve had in the past,â€ť Menker said.
Pre-sale ride tickets are currently available at Kroger, Pantry Pride, First Financial Bank, Minster Bank, Peopleâ€™s Bank and Mercer Savings. Tickets purchased in advance are $10 for a coupon good for 12 tickets. Wrist bands purchased in advance are $15 for a coupon good for one day (from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday or Sunday). Wrist bands purchased the day of will cost $20.
The festival will also feature a variety of kidsâ€™ games and adult games, including the popular cake wheel.
â€śThe cakes are all homemade,â€ť Menker said.
The kiddie tractor pull will also be making a return this year. It will be on Saturday, with registration at 1:30 p.m. and the pulling on Pear Street beginning at 2 p.m.
He noted there will be volunteers selling raffle tickets on the grounds for various prizes that will be drawn Sunday evening, including a $2,500 cash prize.
â€śWe are getting more and more people coming to the festival every year,â€ť Menker said. â€śThatâ€™s wonderful. It helps keep the school going.â€ť
Schedule of Events
5 p.m. All stands open
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Bingo
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. NixonPerry (Nick Wilson and Troy Perry)
8:45 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. The Earthquakers
7:30 a.m. 5K Registration
8:30 a.m. 5K Run/Walk
10 a.m. Chili Cook-off
noon Chili Cook-off and Awards
noon Most stands open
2 p.m. Kiddie Tractor Pull
2 p.m. Cornhole Tournament
4 p.m. Chicken dinners
6 p.m. Adult games open
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Bingo
8:45 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Nashville Crush
noon All stands open
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Bubba and Hoss
4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Bingo
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free Rider
9:30 p.m. Grand prize drawing