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St. Patrick's Autumn Festival this Sunday

St. Patrick's Catholic Church holds its annual Autumn Festival this Sunday.

"We used to call it the bazaar, and it's happened in this parish for lots and lots of years," Pat Mertz, pastoral minister, said. "It's our big fundraiser for the year."

The key feature of the event is a turkey dinner, served with all the trimmings.

"It's really good, and people come from all over for that dinner," Mertz said. "One of the things we do is deliver meals to people who are homebound, so if they call and request that we deliver meals to them so they can eat, too."

Last year's Autumn Festival served more than 450 people.

"The dinner, where the hall is, on the east end of the building, the line goes all the way down the hall usually and sometimes out the door, out of the west end of the building," Mertz said. "The dinner is really well attended."

The event also features games and activities for kids, hosted at the adjacent youth center.

"They have games for even little kids, like the fishpond where they pick out a duck and get a prize according to what's on the bottom, up to bigger games that have to do with throwing at targets," Mertz said. "The rest of the dining room is set up for dinner."

The street will be blocked so kids can cross between the youth center and the parish center, at 14th Avenue, without any risk.

The funds raised by the festival go toward meeting parish needs, Mertz said.

"It provides for stuff for liturgy, for faith formation for the kids. We do a lot of community outreach and assistance. It's for basic things like landscaping and maintenance," she said. "Just those general things that a place needs."

There will also be a silent auction and raffles.

"The grand prize this year is a night down in Denver to see Mannheim Steamroller and pay for the hotel," Mertz said. "Then there's some other prizes that are also good. We have the drawing during the dinner."

While benefiting the Catholic church, the yearly event also offers an atmosphere of warmth, family and community.

"Part of it, obviously, is the money we raise," Mertz said, "but just as big a part of it is that community atmosphere and the chance to get together with families."


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