New Castle News

Closer Look

October 7, 2013

Photos, Story: Villa Maria holds annual fall festival

NEW CASTLE — For 14 years, the Villa Maria Community Center continues has celebrated its fall harvest with community members.

Saturday marked its annual Harvest Day Celebration, a traditional event that grew from an intimate gathering to one attended by hundreds.

According to Kathleen Perry, Villa Maria Community Center administrator, nearly 1,000 attendees were expected for the day’s festivities that began at 11 a.m. and lasted into the evening.

Though attendance has grown and the festival continues to add new activities, the purpose of the celebration remained the same.

“The festival is to thank our God for this harvest,” Perry said. “It’s a great opportunity to connect with people and share our blessings.”

These blessings include various organic vegetables grown on the center’s farm, which were used in the day’s prepared dishes available for purchase at tents spread throughout the grounds.

In addition to the harvest, festival-goers also took advantage of numerous activities, including crafts and games for kids, musical entertainment from The Allegheny Drifters, live alpacas and a climbing wall.

This year also saw the addition of outside vendors, with a focus on homemade crafts and a display on the Villa farm heritage at the center’s produce barn.

In the spirit of sharing blessings, admission to the festival was free.

“Even those who have not that great of an income can still come and have a great day,” Perry said.

With the aid of numerous festival volunteers Saturday’s fall revelry looked to be a success for all those involved.

“We’re just hoping to have a great day,” Perry said. “A lot of time and effort goes into the festival from everyone on campus and the reward is seeing people smile and have a great day.”


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