A few of the conversations this weekend brought back some memories that I had as a kid going to the festival. I remember being so excited about the whole day, whether I was young and playing the games (that ball and paddle I won was so great until it broke later in the day!), playing in the Little League All Star game, or waking up early for the 3-on-3, there was always something to look forward to. Shoot, I can even remember waiting around at the end of the night, feeling exhausted after everything was done just waiting for my parents to finish whatever it was that they were doing so we could go home. Even in that moment there was an excitement about it being a special day, which was the highlight of the summer for a lot of us.
It’s hard to tell whether the festival is as memorable today for kids as it was back then for me. A lot has changed since then and we’ve simplified a lot of things, but people continue to show up. In fact, the 3-on-3 this year was the largest turnout in recent memory! I really want to thank Greg and Katie Halfmann, Kameron Riley, and Tim and Therese Andros for all of their work putting the tournament on the last few years. Part of the reason the main tent looks a little more empty each year is because Maple Street is packed with people watching basketball! The 3-on-3 continues to bring in a lot of people each year, and it wouldn’t be possible without our chairs.
And really, after four years of chairing this event, I’m even more convinced that bringing people together is what it’s all about! Sure, we make some money for the parish (which, I’m definitely grateful for all of the people who said something along the lines of, “Ahh, it’s for the church!” before spending more money throughout the weekend!), but in a day and age where churches struggle more and more to get people to come to events, the festival is something that we can count on every year to draw a big crowd. And providing a great event where people can come together is a step in the right direction of bringing them closer to God through our community.
So thanks again for all of your support in making this festival another success! Whether you chaired an event, worked a shift (or two!), bought/sold raffle tickets, donated baked goods, donated to the Fancy Booth, donated to children’s game prizes, or donated in some other way, THANK YOU! It all plays a part in making this weekend special, and we greatly appreciate it!