UTICA — St. Lawrence Parish’s annual fundraiser and family fun celebration will return to the city of Utica with a new addition — a tiki bar in the main tent featuring craft beer from the Rochester Brewing Co.
The festival, now in its 22nd year, will take place from 5 p.m.-midnight Sept. 5, noon-midnight Sept. 6, and noon-8 p.m. Sept. 7 at the parish, located at 44633 Utica Road, south of M-59.
With free parking and admission, the fundraiser that benefits the parish, school and athletic program is a popular destination for families.
The festival will feature a main tent with a food area, a pub and a craft beer section; a Vegas tent with several TVs for watching football games; carnival rides; a bingo tent; a kids tent; live entertainment; a DJ; raffles for cash prizes; and more.
Barbara Corona, one of the chairs of the event, said the leadership decided to implement craft beer this year because of its rising popularity, but that there would be the standard beer choices, as well.
Applefest’s popular baked goods section also will return to the main tent with a slew of apple-based pies, dumplings, pastries and more, as well as hand-scooped ice cream.
“We chose a theme with September being apple-picking time,” Corona said. “It’s a perfect time to do apples and center our baked goods around the apple theme.”
She added that, as far as food, Applefest would offer American, Italian and Mediterranean options, as well as popcorn, nachos and — new this year — hot pretzels.
Assistant pastor the Rev. Salvatore Palazzolo, who has been with St. Lawrence for the last two festivals, said he was excited to see how many people it brought together.
“The atmosphere is great. It’s very family-friendly, and it’s great to see the wide range of people at the Applefest, from toddlers to middle schoolers and seniors,” Palazzolo said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to welcome people from the neighborhood and a good chance for the parish to reach out, be neighborly and welcome people.”
He said he enjoys taking a spin on the carnival rides and that, although it’s not his favorite part, many of the kids are thrilled to dunk the pastoral staff in the dunk tank.
For more information about Applefest, visit www.facebook.com/friendsofstlawrenceapplefest.
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