St. Teresa of Avila festival has something for everyone
The annual St. Teresa of Avila Summer Festival in Ross Township has been around for nearly 50 years because organizers try to have something for people of all ages, said Connie Stewart, festival entertainment chairwoman.
This year's festival begins Monday and runs through Aug. 24 at the parish grounds at 1000 Avila Court in the Perrysville neighborhood.
“There are so many different attractions,” said Stewart, 49, of West Mifflin. “Everything from the flea market to the dinners to the free entertainment makes this a fun family event.”
This year, festival organizers wanted to include more new acts that are fresh and different. Bob the Amazing Juggler will open the festival Monday evening by juggling all sorts of things, including fire, Stewart said.
“We're excited to see what he can do for us,” Stewart said.
“It's different from a musical act and should be fun for all ages.”
And closing the festival on Saturday night is the Back in Time Band, which performs popular songs from the 1950s and 1960s, Stewart said.
“We think the band will get a good reaction from the St. Teresa crowd,” Stewart said.
“I hope this isn't their only appearance at the festival, let's put it that way.”
The German-themed dinner will be served on Saturday evening instead of during the week because it always has been the most popular dinner, and having it on the last night of the festival means more people will attend, so the fest will “go out with a bang,” said Shirley Gorwick, festival co-chairwoman.
Some other new features are games in which two players compete in timed matches to make hoops or score goals. A Chinese auction features items such as a 46-inch flat-screen high-definition television, an iPad tablet and a Kindle e-reader, Gorwick said.
But the most popular festival feature always has been the flea market, which draws crowds mostly because of its reputation for reasonably-priced “quality junk,” Gorwick said.
About 60 volunteers work all through July to collect, sort and price donated items, and everything is neatly displayed, as if in a department store, Gorwick said.
The flea market's opening day is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, two days before the festival starts. Gorwick said that when the doors open, as many as 600 people already are in line outside and about 6,000 people visit the flea market during its run.
Parish officials do not disclose the amount of money made at the festival, but almost all of the proceeds go to St. Teresa of Avila School to help keep tuition costs down. One-third of the total amount raised comes from flea market sales, Gorwick said.
Although the festival is late in the summer, it's one of the largest parish festivals in the North Hills, and it takes about 700 volunteers to run everything during festival week, Gorwick said.
“It's a big community event for us,” Gorwick said. “Our stewardship is outstanding, and people come and volunteer their time and it's a real camaraderie.”
Melanie Donahoo is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McIntyre students hope Buddy Bench is beneficial to all
- New Mexican restaurant to open in McCandless
- Youth Planting Change program aims to grow horizons for North Allegheny students
- St. Sebastian STEM class makes learning fun for students
- Retiring custodian described as ‘heart and soul’ of Richland Elementary
- ‘Singin’ with Santa’ concert to ring in holidays at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Allison Park
- Hampton hires part-time police officer
- North Hills Community Outreach’s Community Auto program giving away vehicle
- North Hills students collect food for families
- Etna, Millvale homes go solar
- New track, turf planned for Shaler Area’s Titan Stadium