LIMA — The St. Rose Festival is the unofficial start of summer, and, boy, did the weather cooperate Saturday night, with sunshine and temperatures in the 80s.
Mary Paton says she’s seen all types of weather for the festival.
“I’ve had to wear coats and little gloves before. This year is going great because it’s the first nice day we’ve had in a long time. It went from the 40s to the 80s, so welcome to Ohio,” Paton said with a chuckle.
It’s the volunteers that make this happen.
“We’ve had some switch-offs, but most of us are parishioners, and we work very hard and well together, so that helps,” Paton said.
While Paton has been involved for the past 13 years, Jeannie Riepenhoff has been volunteering at the festival for as long as she can remember.
“Actually my dad started this when we started the first festival over 20 years ago, and ever since he passed away, my family, the Nolte family, have taken over,” Riepenhoff said.
“I love it. I wouldn’t do anything else,” she added. “My kids went to school here. We’re part of the parish, and I do it every year.”
Money raised from the festival goes to the general fund.
“I’m proud to say we have not lost money since we started, this and it’s been a good 25-30 years,” Paton said.
The festival is a way for the St. Rose parish to reach out to the neighborhood.
“The first and foremost reason that we do this is to build community with the community and within our parish and school system,” Paton said. “It’s a time for us to open up our doors and our facilities to the community and our neighborhood and show what we have to offer and to be inclusive to everybody.”
Saturday night featured activities for adults, with plenty of food and beer and music, while the activities set for Sunday beginning at noon are for everyone.
“It’s Family Day. No charge. We have mechanical rides. We have inflatables for the kids,” Paton said. “Kids games like ‘Feed the clown’ and the fish pond and all that stuff for the kids, and then we still have live entertainment for the adults and kids. We have ‘Mischief’ playing from noon to 3, and we have ‘Someone’s Kids’ playing from 4 to 8, so there’s really something for everybody.”
The Big Ticket Raffle will wrap things up at 8 p.m. The grand prize is $5,000.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.