Children clutching fistfuls of tickets are deciding where to start. Some head for the cotton candy or snow cones while others head to the indoor games. A face painting table is just along the fence. Screams can be heard from the yard nearby where children attached to long bungee cords somersault high into the air. Small hands chase rubber ducks in a simulated pond while a teenager tries to decide whether to get his hair sprayed pink or purple.
It is still early so the pizza and chicken and Lebanese places are still setting up in the courtyard but the Biergarten is doing a brisk business with wursts browning on the grill and pitchers filling with beer from a keg on the table.
“We are Catholics you know,” a long time parishioner comments.
Outside the parish hall international tents are set up where members of the parish are offering their home cooked Hispanic and Filipino food. A 40-pound pig, glistening with brown crust from five hours of roasting, sits in the middle of a long buffet table. For 12 tickets you can take home a plate of pork-stuffed spring rolls, a rectangle of sweet rice cake, pancit (noodles with mixed vegetables, spring onions and bits of pork) and lechon.
Oriana MacGregor, Development, Enrollment and Marketing Director of St. Ann School, says a core group of volunteers met for some months out to plan the event. “It took 40-50 volunteers in shifts from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., all hands on deck to make it happen. It is truly one of a kind grassroots event.”
St. Ann’s parish held its first lawn fete on an empty lot in 1947 when they were formerly recognized as a parish. They held a raffle of a shiny new Plymouth and raised $4,000 for their building fund ($90,773 in today’s equivalent.) They tore down that first building in 2003 making the way for today’s building.