News Sartell — 04 September 2014
Perfect weather blesses St. Stephen Festival

by Dennis Dalman

editor@thenewsleaders.com

A perfect late-summer day blessed the annual St. Stephen Catholic Parish Festival on Labor Day, with many thousands of people.

Participants enjoyed a wide variety of activities: live dance music, raffle booths, drawings for prizes, bingo, two auctions, a flea market, pull tabs, vegetable vendors, kids’ inflatables, a beer stand, burgers and fries and even a guess-the-weight-of-the-giant pumpkin contest.

People of all ages from many area cities crowded the parish grounds. Some wandered and browsed the vendor stands, others sat and listened to music or stood and watched dancers and still others sat at tables and enjoyed long leisurely lunches. The weather was sunny but not hot, with gentle breezes, with a deep-blue sky above and herds of blinding-white cumulous clouds.

It was, by all accounts, one of the best parish festivals in its long history. Just this past summer, St. Stephen celebrated its centennial year. The parish festival has long been an iconic part of the city’s history.

Proceeds from the festival are used for parish needs.

photo by Dennis Dalman

The “French Fry Family,” the Vankoeverings of Sartell, enjoys a feast of fries at the St. Stephen Parish Festival. From left to right are Mallie, father Bill, mother Janet and Erin Vankoevering; and their friend Joe Palmersheim of St. Stephen.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Edith Gerads of St. Stephen wraps yet another burger at the St. Stephen Parish Festival. On Labor Day, Gerads wrapped a couple thousand of the burgers – at least – during the day.

photo by Dennis Dalman
RoseAnn Mangan of Rice and her gentleman dance partner Leo Wachnich of St. Cloud kick up their heels during a two-step polka at the St. Stephen Parish Festival on Labor Day. Many thousands of people attended the annual event, which was blessed by perfect late-summer weather.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Two brothers and their buddy watch their bingo cards like hawks at the St. Stephen Parish Festival on Labor Day. The boys are (left to right) Austin Supan of Opole and brothers Kyle and Austin Geise of Bowlus.

photo by Dennis Dalman
The horn section of the J.J.’s Band toots out their notes to a rousing polka at the St. Stephen Parish Festival.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Jordan Wills of Royalton patiently waits for little customers to grab lollipops at the St. Stephen Parish Festival.

photo by Dennis Dalman
The annual Labor Day St. Stephen Festival attracted many thousands of people from a wide area. A perfect late-summer day helped make the festival a big success, along with its live dance music, raffles, auctions, food stands and flea market.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Rita Schyller of Upsala checks out a brighter-than-bright pink quilt at the St. Stephen Parish Festival on Labor Day.

photo by Dennis Dalman
A group of people gathers round to marvel at a giant tree stump on display at the St. Stephen Parish Festival. Some tried to count the rings to determine the tree’s age, but then gave up after counting past 50 or so.

photo by Dennis Dalman
The rapid-fire staccato sounds of an auctioneer’s voice could be heard, via loudspeaker, throughout the auction grounds of the St. Stephen Parish Festival on Labor Day. A huge crowd gathered to watch the auction, and many items were sold to the top bidders.

photo by Dennis Dalman
A stack of bingo cards awaits play during the several bingo games for large crowds at the St. Stephen Parish Festival.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Festival-goers observe two goats that were raffled off during the St. Stephen Parish Festival. The goats, said the man at the booth, can be kept as pets on a farm. Proceeds from the raffle went to the St. Stephen Catholic Parish.

photo by Dennis Dalman
People step up to the “fixin’s” table at the St. Stephen Parish Festival to load their burgers with ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Bounce, bounce, slip and slide. Down they go on the inflatable at the St. Stephen Parish Festival.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Bingo was the name of the game inside the St. Stephen Parish Hall during that city’s Parish Festival on Labor Day.

photo by Dennis Dalman
Doris Dukowitz of Avon (left) tries her luck at a dice game inside the Parish Hall at the St. Stephen Parish Festival on Labor Day. Helping her is Carrie Hennes of Sauk Rapids, who grew up in St. Stephen.

 

 

 

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About Author

Dennis Dalman
Dennis Dalman

editor@thenewsleaders.com Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.

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