BY TOM LAVIS
St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church’s 80th annual parish reunion promises to be an exciting, entertaining and nostalgic event.
The festivities will take place July 19-21 on the church grounds, 2310 Bedford St. in Geistown Borough.
Attendees can enjoy a chicken-and-waffle dinner in the church’s newly air-conditioned gymnasium, participate in a car cruise-in or simply enjoy a variety of games, crafts and other family fun.
“We have over 30 games to entertain young and old alike,” said Sue Kiniry, an event co-chair. “And one of the biggest and nicest basket giveaways in the area.
“We have at least 50-60 baskets and could have more by the time the event takes place,” she said.
Doug Glattke also serves as a co-chair of the festival.
Chicken-and-waffle dinners will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. July 19 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 21. The cost is $9 for adults and $5 for children. Take-outs will be available.
In addition to the sit-down dinner, people can enjoy homemade haluski, pierogi, hot sausage, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, wings, french fries, ice cream, apple dumplings, snow cones and other items at the refreshment stand.
Baked goods and coffee will be available at the St. Benedict Cafe and Bakery.
“The outdoor activities all are under tented areas, including the music, so it is a rain-or-shine event,” Kiniry said.
A car cruise begins at 4 p.m. July 20, and the show is open to all categories of vehicles. Registration is $5.
”We expect to have antiques, street rods, muscle cars, trucks, customs, tuners and motorcycles,” Kiniry said.
“The first 50 cars will receive a religious mirror-hanging ornament.”
Organizers are trying something new this year with the implementation of a pay-one-price admission to the children’s area.
Children may purchase a wristband for $10 on each day of the reunion as well a reduced-priced wristband for $5 on July 21, which allows them to play eight children’s games for an unlimited number of times from noon to 5 p.m.
“Children will receive a consolation prize each time they play and may choose a large prize at the end of their playing time when they turn in their bracelet,” Kiniry said.
Also this year, a special time on July 21 has been designated as family fun time. From noon to 5 p.m., children will enjoy a magician, storytelling, crafts and pony rides for $1.
A variety of music will be offered throughout the reunion.
On July 19, the lineup features the sounds of Leah Gontkovic at 5:30 p.m. and Flood City Brass at 7.
Johnstown Classic Rockers will take the stage from 6 to 10 p.m. July 20.
On July 21, performers will include Hard Rok, KoKo & Joe, noon to 2 p.m.; Jazz in Your Face, 3 to 6; and The Conniptions, 7 to 9.
“Our famous flea market opens at 3 p.m. on July 19,” Kiniry said. “We have seven classrooms loaded with items for people to buy.”
One room contains only used books, while others will feature an array of household items.
“We have tons of linens, dishes, small appliances, Christmas decorations, toys, silk flowers and much more,” Kiniry said.
People may take chances on prizes, such as the $100 giveaways, which will be presented every hour during designated times each day, and six
$500 gift cards, which may be used for gas or groceries. Contestants need not be present to win.
A free shuttle service will be provided every 15 minutes from the Geistown fire hall and the former Neissner’s Flower Shop across the street from the church. The shuttle is handicapped accessible.
What: St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church’s 80th annual parish reunion.
Where: Church grounds, 2310 Bedford St. in Geistown Borough.
When: July 19-21.
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