MONTOURSVILLE - Fun for all ages can be found at the second Our Lady of Lourdes Annual Parish Festival held Friday, Saturday and today at the church in Montoursville. Though the skies outside were gray, the event still was well attended.
The festival was held Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. Today, the event will be back from noon to 4 p.m. and will feature a special dinner of pulled pork sandwiches and BBQ baked beans, with all the trimmings. Guests are invited to dine in, or can get their food through a special drive through takeout service, explained Linda Powell, chairwoman of the event.
Those in attendance had the chance to win a wide variety of gift baskets, which held everything from Steelers tickets to coupons for local businesses. Volunteers donated items for about 50 gift baskets, which were complied by Burchanowski and Julianne Gombosi.
A live band kept guests bopping, while visitors took their chance at a variety of games available. For children, there is face painting, a ring toss, a goldfish bowl toss, and plinko. Adults were given the opportunity to spin a wheel and win a bottle of wine or homemade cake.
Helping out at the event is something Ashley Rupert, 21, looks forward to every year. Rupert, who was in charge of the face painting booth, said that she and her parents enjoy contributing to their church community.
"Our church keeps growing, which is very exciting ... We've been able to come together and make this work despite the rain," Rupert said.
"We have music, food and games for the kids, what more could you need?" she asked.
All proceeds from the event go back to the church, but the buck doesn't stop there, explained Barb Burchanowski, volunteer. In addition to it's outreach efforts, the church donates to many other local programs which help people of all denominations, including a variety of programs which help provide emotional support for the homeless, low income families, and parents.
"This money doesn't just go back into supporting our church. When you come out and attend this event, you can know you're supporting something much bigger - this really helps the entire community," Burchanowski said.
The event originally was intended to be held outside. Once the skies turned dark, an team of volunteers moved the entire festival inside the church. The quick team work was typical of events held at the church, said Powell.
"We have has a wonderful group of volunteers come forward, and are just so blessed to have such wonderful people attending church here," Powell said.
She explained that the festival was one of the church's largest events, and took a year to plan by a group of about 25 board members. About 100 people came forward to help put the event together. They work in shifts, taking turns running the variety of games and raffles available.
1, 2: Volunteers Wendy Bonus and Ginger Paulhamus decorate a funnel cake during the parish's annual festival.
3: (right to left) Dominic Jacopetti, 11; Abigail Shoemaker, 11; and Alissa Jacopetti, 11; take a chance at the fish bowl game.