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St. Luke’s Catholic Parish hosts 50th Annual Fall Festival

By Cara L. Dempski

BOYCEVILLE — The members of St. Luke’s Catholic Parish in Boyceville are celebrating 50 years of their annual Fall Festival.

The celebration started in 1966 as a way to refill the church building fund after parishioners build a new church in 1965.

“Due the fact the parish had some of the best cooks in the county, they hosted a turkey meal,” said Laura Boesl, a member of St. Luke’s since 1969. “The menu hasn’t changed since then.”

Parishioners will be serving turkey, real mashed potatoes, dressing, corn, cranberry sauce, gravy, pie, and assorted other items during the October 2 Fall Festival. The Parish will also have a Country Store of homemade crafts, canned goods, and food items, will host a cake walk, will hold a silent auction, and will have raffle tickets for sale.

“Raffle tickets are $1 each or $5 for six,” Lesley Nelson, a member of St. Luke’s, said. “Winners do not need to be present to win.”

This year’s raffle prizes include $500 cash for first prize and $250 for second, donated by St. Luke’s parishioners, and $100 for third is donated by ServPro. John Humpal of Steam Team Cleaning donated a free carpet cleaning for 400 square feet.

Other raffle prizes are one cord of oak firewood donated by Ken Boesl and a free family portrait session courtesy of Boesl Portrait Design.

“We always have a good turnout,” Nelson said.

The church raised over $2000 in 2015, with 318 tickets sold. The event’s planning committee decided to raise prices this year.

“Adult tickets are $9, children 12 and under are $5, and preschool-age tickets are $2,” Boesl stated.

Parish members start preparing for the event several weeks beforehand, taking care of things like husking, cooking, and then freezing the corn and toasting bread cubes to be used in the dressing.

The older church members in other locations typically man a celebration like this, but that is not the case at St. Luke’s.

“My daughter has been on the committee for several years,” Boesl said, “and my grandkids all know their jobs for it.”

She added that the Fall Festival is similar to a reunion, with families and children returning to the parish that haven’t been in the area for many years.

St. Luke’s Fall Festival is held annually on the first Sunday of October. Mass will be held at 9:30 and the turkey meal, Country Store, cake walk, and silent auction will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.