Large crowds invade St. Joseph Festival

MONROEVILLE - Sweltering temperatures and high humidity couldn't stop the fun that was the St. Joseph Parish Festival Saturday and Sunday. The 47th annual event kicked off at 6 p.m. Saturday. That evening's activities were geared more toward adults, with a Texas Hold'em tournament, Black Jack and Maverick card games. Saturday also featured live entertainment from Dan Fester.
Scott Seitz
Jul 25, 2010

MONROEVILLE - Sweltering temperatures and high humidity couldn't stop the fun that was the St. Joseph Parish Festival Saturday and Sunday.

The 47th annual event kicked off at 6 p.m. Saturday. That evening's activities were geared more toward adults, with a Texas Hold'em tournament, Black Jack and Maverick card games. Saturday also featured live entertainment from Dan Fester.

Sunday's itinerary was set up for families and people turned out in droves as temperatures clocked in at 86 degrees.

Sunday's festivities included a reverse raffle, with prizes of $12,500 in cash, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or a John Deere Gator. Dr. Bartt Colahan of Norwalk held the winning ticket and took the cash.

There also was a raffle to win a homemade quilt and wood glider made by Alf Schafer.

Children were able to play an assortment of games and have fun in the bounce house. Many also participated in the kiddie tractor pull Sunday afternoon. Some took their chances at the basketball games, where they could play for candy bars and knock down 2-of-4 shots and give themselves a chance to win cash prizes or a couple of Ohio State sweatshirts. Others tried to win prizes by playing ring toss. Still others tried their luck at the bean-bag toss and some children played miniature golf.

Sunday was so busy at the festival that Jerry Gravenhorst's famous chicken was sold out by 2 p.m. It was reported that about 200 more chicken dinners were sold than anticipated. The booth selling soft drinks, hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries was swamped at 6 p.m. Sunday.

The festival was finally winding down after 9 p.m. Sunday.

"It sure is hot," one man said. "It's great if you like that kind of thing."

"I've been coming here since grade school," said Connie Farley of Willard, who is a Monroeville High School graduate. "I like the family atmosphere and it's for a good cause the school.

"It's like a big class reunion no matter if you went to St. Joe or Monroeville you see everybody," Farley added.

"I've been coming here 30-some years," said Linda Laux of Norwalk.

"Definitely the chicken," Laux added about what keeps her coming back to the festival. "And the games and visiting relatives. That's what we're doing today.