St. Gerard Festival to mark 44 years

LIMA —The St. Gerard Festival is set to return for its 44th year with the usual fanfare and entertainment it brings to the community every year.

The festival will start at 5 p.m. Friday, June 7 and run through the weekend at St. Gerard Parish at 240 W. Robb Ave. in Lima.

“It’s the festival that kicks off the summer,” organizer Kelly Stolly said. “We’ve gotten two years back after COVID and they have been record years. So when it goes well, we kind of keep everything the same.”

Stolly said anyone showing up for either of the three days can expect entertainment, including rides and music from Kodebreaker, Brother Believe Me, Paul Smock and Liam Stolly.

“And then the food because everyone loves fair food and we’re well-known for our chicken wings,” Stolly said. “I think people can just get excited about getting out with their family and bringing their kids out to have fun and enjoy a local festival.”

For Stolly, a graduate of St. Gerard Catholic School and Lima Central Catholic, it is easy to take pride in the festival.

“I think it’s great to see our alumni come back and talk to students who have been away from college and are back with friends,” she said. “It’s nice to be one of the biggest parish festivals in Northwest Ohio. And we take a lot of pride that it’s run strictly by volunteers because we don’t have food trucks or anything. Our chairpeople and volunteers of all ages, even schoolkids, help out and that’s what has made us successful for 44 years.”

That is along the lines of what Stolly wants festival-goers to take from the event.

“Being with family and friends is always what I hear about,” she said. “It’s so great to be back and see people they haven’t seen since last year during the festival or maybe Christmastime. I want them to have a good feeling about St. Gerard and enjoy themselves.”

The festival has offered wristbands for ride tickets in the past, but this year is selling vouchers that can be pre-purchased at the school or parish office until Thursday at 4 p.m.

A curfew for Friday and Saturday nights will be in effect again for anyone under the age of 18 without a legal guardian beginning at 9 p.m.

The $10,000 top prize for the raffle will be announced at 9 p.m. Sunday, June 9.

Parking at the event will be free.

Sunday’s chicken dinner will begin at 11:30 a.m.

For more information, visit

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.