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Holy Rosary to hold Fall Fest early

The farmer’s market is a popular part of the Holy Rosary Fall Fest, as community members donate fresh fruits, vegetables and goodies for the annual fundraising event. SUBMITTED PHOTO

It may be coming a littler earlier than normal this year, but the Holy Rosary Fall Fest is expected to pull in even bigger numbers this year.

The 42nd annual event is set for Sunday, August 17 — more than a month earlier than previous years.

“The reasoning is, everybody is so busy those first few weeks of September,” said Joe Boyer, who is helping to head up this year’s event. “And I think we’ll get a bigger draw because a lot of the summer people will still be around.”

Roughly 700 people go to Holy Rosary’s traditional fundraising event, designed to raise money for the church and school.

Fall Fest kicks off at the church with a festival mass at 10 a.m., with the celebration following from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The day-long event may be put on by a whole slew of volunteers from the Catholic community, but it is open to the public, not just Catholics, Boyer stressed.

And one thing people of all faiths have in common — food.

“Oh, we’ll have tacos in a bag, hot dogs, brats, pizza, mini-donuts…” said Boyer, who adds that while those things go over well, it’s the pasta dinner that ends up being the main event there.

“That went over so well last year,” said Boyer, who adds big plates of pasta with a meatball and garlic bread will be served up through Speak Easy for $8 per plate.

For dessert (and the kid in everybody) there will also be cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn.

But new to the event this year is the way all of these goodies are purchased.

“We’re going to a carnival-style payment thing where instead of paying with cash, you go and buy tickets and pay that way,” said Boyer, who adds people will still have the option to pay with cash if they want to, there just won’t be any way to make change if it’s owed.

“And then something else new we’re having this year is a dunk tank,” said Boyer, laughing. “And Father Todd has volunteered to get in first…then we’ll see who else we can grab after that.”

There will be three different sections of the festival, starting with outside events. “That’s where we’ll have the kids’ games, snow cones, live auction, the dunk tank, the farmer’s market and the snow cones, cotton candy and pop,” said Boyer, who adds when you walk inside, the first level will feature the spaghetti dinner, most of the food booths and Bingo.

Upstairs will be a white elephant sale, silent auction and cake walk.

Boyer says they always get a lot of good items donated to the auctions, which this year will also be handled slightly different.

“For the silent auction I think we’ll be doing it like Ebay, where there will be a minimum bid, but people will also have the option just to buy something for a set price,” said Boyer, who adds that if that price is met by more than one person, the bidding is on.

The farmer’s market that will be set up there is always plentiful, according to Boyer, who adds local people donate just about every kind of vegetable under the sun.

“And then we get to sell it for our fundraiser, so that’s really nice,” he said.

Although money raised from the event will go into the general fund for the church and the school to divvy up, he said he knows part of it will go towards projects at the school like new lockers and iPads for the students.

Boyer says he believes the Holy Rosary Fall Festival remains so strong year after year because it gets the whole community involved.

“People here in Detroit Lakes always seem to like to go to these kinds of things,” said Boyer, “and I’m just glad they always want to come to ours, too.”