OLEAN — Traditionally known as Olean's first festival of the summer season, St. Mary of the Angels Parish will host its 45th-annual Church Festival, "We Remember - We Celebrate - We Believe," from June 10 to 12.
Held on the church grounds on the corner of South Union Street and West Henley Street, the festival offers three days of live entertainment, games, themed basket raffles, children's play area and incredible food. This family-friendly event has something for everyone.
Throughout the history of the festival, the parish has always highlighted its Catholic traditions, values and outreach messages.
There will be processions on the grounds celebrating the past, present and future of the parish. On opening day, all the grounds and cars in the Rick Bokman Classic Car Show will be blessed. Friday will feature the country band West of the Mark at 8 p.m. On Saturday, the parish will show its appreciation to Sister Margaret Carney, OSF, president of St. Bonaventure University, as she retires, with a St. Clare procession.
On Sunday, the parish will share in a Corpus Christi procession with reverence and a background of live bagpipers. Traditional Irish music and dancing will also take place from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Each day the festival offers a wide variety of games, food and raffles. The children's area will be an array of inflatables including a bounce house, slide and obstacle course. Themed baskets are generously packed full of wonderful items and a variety of food vendors have their offerings all housed under the giant circus tent.
Visitors to the festival can enjoy genuine Wellsville Texas Hots, O'Gregor Steak sandwiches, Fowler's Taffy, and homemade "Pies on our Victorian porch" at the rectory. Under the tent they will be serving pulled pork, meatball and sausage sandwiches, fresh baked pizza, curly fries and strawberry shortcake that have delighted crowds over the years.
The traditional Friday fish fry sells out quickly, as does the pancake breakfast and Hibernian chicken BBQ on Sunday. These taste treats reflect the Southern Tier at its best.
Each year, festival planners work to provide an incredible roster of offerings that are appealing and fun for all ages. Families have made the festival and its special events part of their traditions.
To receive more information about the parish and its ministries call 716-372-4841, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.smaolean.org.