You may not be able to attend the St. Columban Festival this year, but you sure can have some festival fun with St. Columban

By:  Chuck Gibson (Note: Cathy Nagy, St. Columban, contributed to this story) 

LOVELAND, OH (June 23, 2020) – Summertime officially arrived over the weekend coming in early evening Saturday, but and bringing Father’s Day the first full day of summer on Sunday, but not all of the usual summer fun arrived with it this year.

No Festival-Festival logo (Courtesy St. Columban Church)

Community swimming pools have been slow to open, if at all, and with restrictions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Baseball stadiums remain empty and youth leagues, the ones who have not cancelled completely, are just beginning to schedule and play games. So many summer activities that bring us all together have been shut down this year. The usual fare of outdoor activities is just not available. There are too many casualties to count. County fairs and church festivals have been cancelled. But wait. Like so many other casualties in this pandemic world, creativity kicks in and new ways to celebrate old favorites are found.

Overhead view of St. Columban Church Festival (FILE)

Right here in Loveland, Ohio, the St. Columban Church Festival is one of those old favorites the community counts on each summer come that final weekend in June. Not this year. There is no festival. But wait! The creative staff and parish family of St. Columban have found a way to bring everyone together “virtually” kicking-off the  “No Festival-Festival”  10-day long event now thru June 28, – the same day which would have been the final day of the annual St. Columban Church Festival.

Here’s the story from St. Columban: (with special thanks to Cathy Nagy and all the St. Columban parish staff )

Flash back to prior Festival weekends…when you arrive, the St. Columban parking lot has been transformed! You can feel the excitement in the air. It’s time to celebrate! The aroma of fresh, warm funnel cakes and grilled hamburgers lazily drifts through the air. Squeals of children’s laughter and happy chatter punctuate the sunny afternoon. You see your neighbors, your fellow parishioners, your friends. What to do first?! Bid N’ Buy booth, food booth, maybe take a chance at the cake wheel or … there are so many booths to visit and so many yummy foods to eat! But first, for many of you, your children pull you towards Kids Avenue, which is a great first stop because as your kids relish in the games and prizes. Collectively, hearts are happy and you are grateful to be part of such a wonderful community.

No rides for the kids this year (FILE) 

Sadly, as you know, we cannot have a Festival this year due to safety concerns for our community, but we hope to return in 2021 with the same fun and fellowship we have enjoyed for decades. In it’s place, we are kicking off 10 days of fun, our No Festival Festival, that ends on what would have been the last day of the event, June 28th. Our hope is to raise some of the funds this event provides towards our operating budget. Be sure to check out Facebook and our website each day for fun videos featuring many of your Festival favorites.

Fr. Lary’s Funnel Cakes – a festival favorite (FILE) 

We have over 40 Bid n Buy items online, as well as the crowd-pleasing Split the Pot. Click here to join in all the fun! You will also find a place to make a donation if you’d like. Thank you in advance for your generous support and we hope you enjoy the No Festival Festival!

Just smell that famous festival chicken roasting over an open fire grill . . . Mmmm!(File) 

Check out the Festival videos bringing the

Festival alive online daily: 

Festival Bid n Buy Video

Festival set up video

Festival Welcome video

Festival Dessert Booth video

Festival Sanitation Facilities video

All the videos and more “No Festival-Festival” stories, pictures and information can be found by clicking here on the St. Columban Facebook Page

Or click here on the St. Columban Church website and scroll to events