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Festival comes to St. Joseph's this weekend

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

This weekend, residents from the area and also from outside of the area will descend on Everson Borough to enjoy the annual tradition of the St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church summer festival.

The kitchen — serving up a Polish platter complete with pierogies, cabbage rolls and cabbage and noodles — will be open from 4-7 p.m. Saturday night and the other food and game booths will be open from 5-11 p.m.

Ray J and the Carousels polka band will provide entertainment starting Saturday at 5:45 p.m.

On Sunday, the booths will be open from 4-10 p.m. and a turkey dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A Battle of the Bands contest will be held Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. with bands from as far away as West Virginia and Indiana, PA.

Other events scheduled throughout the weekend include the annual ice-cream-eating and bubble-gum-blowing contests and at some point Saturday, a hypnotist will put on a show.

Festival committee member Mike Banaszak grew up in the church, was baptized at the church and has been a member at the church his whole life except for the 20 years he spent traveling in the military.

“The festival started out as a small bazaar to help with the finances when we had a parish school, but when the school closed, they decided to continue the event because it was evident that people in and out of the area looked forward to it,” he said.

“It's like a homecoming,” Banaszak added. “It's a great time, and for some it's the highlight of their summer. They bring their kids and grand kids and reminisce.”

As president of Everson Council, Banaszak added it is really the only community event that takes place in the borough.

“We get great cooperation from the fire department and council and anything that we might need to make it a success, people seem to bend over backwards to do it,” he said. “We do make money that we use to pay bills within the parish, but it's not about the money.

“It's about the chance for people to get together and feel like they're a part of St. Joe's,” Banaszak added.

The newest parish priest, the Rev. Andrew Kawecki, also be on hand to help with the fried dough and to mingle with the parishioners.

“It's really going to be lots of fun and I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone better,” he said.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.