No rain, no strong winds and no wildfire smoke. That’s the usual hope for the parent volunteers who put in a lot of hard work preparing for and then pulling off the annual St. Joseph School Harvest Festival.
And we’re the first to admit: it is a lot of work. But it’s also a lot of fun for the families that come out each year to enjoy the festival. For those unfamiliar with the St. Joe’s Harvest Fest, here are a few important details:
You don’t have to be Catholic to attend. Heck, you don’t even need to be religious, but the wonderful nuns who tirelessly serve the St. Joe’s school and church have a sixth sense for such things. They’ll be watching you closely if you come to the event with a dark soul.
There’s a beer garden for parents who want to kick back an adult beverage and let their kids go feral for several hours. I’m serious about the beer garden, only half-serious about the feral kid thing. The beer garden is put in a spot that allows parents to keep tabs on their kids as they play carnival games and bounce for hours-on-end on the myriad of inflatable toys. It’s a win-win arrangement.
There’s a long list of live entertainment planned. The outdoor stage is busy all day with local acts.
Activities abound to keep the attention of your kiddos. Besides the inflatables and carnival games, there will be a face-painting booth and a pumpkin patch. For grownups, there’s the aforementioned beer garden, a craft fair, a flea market and a chance to socialize with other parents in a laid-back setting.
Food. Lots of it. Hamburgers, sausages, carnival food (including funnel cakes!), french fries, authentic Mexican eats and more. My favorite: the homemade desserts that the ladies from one of the St. Joe’s Church guilds sell inside Kuykendall Hall. Oops, I just drooled on my keyboard … again.
It’s all for great cause. Proceeds from the festival go toward St. Joseph School, which recently celebrated its 60th year. Enrollment has been steadily growing in the lower grades. It’s a good school, and, for the first time in quite a few years, it’s a growing school with growing needs.
(Top photo: Wenatchee World/Mike Bonnicksen. Isabella Sanchez, 4, of East Wenatchee keeps a tight grip as she gets a wild ride on the kids’ train during the St. Joe’s Harvest Festival in 2014. Middle photo: Provided. The kids’ train provided blessed smiles for all who rode it in 2013. Bottom photo: Provided. Face painting at the 2013 festival.)