ELYRIA — St. Jude Parish will continue a three-decade tradition Sunday that began as a way for parishioners to get to know one another.
The Rev. Frank Kosem, who came to the church in June 1985, came up with the idea of holding a parish festival. It kicked off Labor Day Sunday that year and since has drawn thousands of people. Common bonds are great food, games of chance, classic cars and polka music from parishioner Ed Klimczak.
“This started out as a clambake, but as you know, not everyone likes clams,” Kosem said. “We went as far away as Monroeville to see how others handled their festivals. We always wanted the festival to be family-oriented and to remain on a scale where we, in the parish, could manage all the attractions and events.
“Now, it is a major social event, not just for our parish, but for the greater community as well.”
The festival also raises funds for the parish.
As for food, barbecue chicken and ribs will be available, as will ethnic favorites including bratwurst, Slovenian sausage, chicken paprikash, cabbage and noodles, and pierogies.
The festival runs noon to 9 p.m. at the church, 590 Poplar St., Elyria.
The CYO youth football league will hold games at the field on the church grounds. There will be a Chinese auction as well as bingo, roulette and blackjack.
The Friendship Animal Protective League of Lorain County will have a booth promoting pet adoption. There will be a fly-in by Cleveland MetroHealth’s Life Flight, children’s games, miniature golf, horse-drawn wagon rides and a cake wheel, where a quarter can get participants a homemade pie or cake.
There will be a classic car cruise-in, and a car raffle in the pavilion at the end of the day.
Raffle tickets can be purchased up to the time of the drawing. This year, the winner can choose between a Ford Focus from Nick Abraham Auto Mall and a Honda Civic from Jack Matia Honda.
For more information, call (440) 366-5711 or go to saint judeparish.org.