St. Mary’s School and Parish is gearing up for its annual old-fashioned country fair, a tradition since the 1950s. Everything from carnival rides to raffles, games, a harvest market and pancake breakfast are on the schedule. Although the fair benefits the school and parish, it’s grown over the years into a community-wide event for all ages.
“One thing we’re trying to focus on is the tradition and history of the country fair,” co-chairwoman Lindsay DeMaestri said. “So, we have an alumni booth to bring past St. Mary’s graduates together and we’re reaching out to make it more of a community event. Everyone is welcome.”
The fair kicks off at 5 p.m. Oct. 5 with a Harvest Market and Country Store preview, where more than two dozen vendors will be selling jewelry, beauty items, crafts and homemade food items. There’s a $20 entry fee for the preview that includes heavy appetizers, wine and craft cocktails, DeMaestri said.
The harvest market and store will be open again Oct. 6 when the fair swings into full motion from 5 to 10 p.m. The first thing you’ll notice, however, is the nine Butler carnival rides set up on the St. Mary’s School blacktop.
“The rides are for young kids and teens,” co-chairwoman Dawn Shannon said. “For the really little ones we’ll have a kids’ zone with a balloon artist, petting zoo, and pumpkin decorating and carving.”
If your son or daughter is a video gamer, he or she might want to check out the video game truck that will be set up Friday night. The truck can only accommodate four gamers at a time, so advance tickets are recommended.
In addition to a Friday night lasagna feed, there will be nine food booths at the fair. Look for Italian, Hawaiian and Mexican food, pizza, burgers, tri-tip and sweet treats. There will also be wine and beer gardens and a margarita booth.
On Oct. 7 the fair runs 10 a.m.-10 p.m.. In addition to all the regular fair activities, the “Kids’ Night In” event at 7 p.m. gives parents a night out.
“We do Kids’ Night In every year, with a jumpy house and a movie, so parents can go outside and enjoy the fair,” Shannon said. “We have a new band performing Saturday night, the Peelers, who play mashups and Top 40. It’s a free live concert, and we’ll have a dance floor set up.”
Raffles are a big draw at the country fair, since one is for a 2018 Jeep Compass Sport or $20,000 cash. Individual tickets are $100.
“I love our general raffle,” DeMaestri said.”The top prize is $1,500 cash. We also have a MacBook Air, lots of wine and a PlayStation 4. The last raffle is called ‘Super Cash’ because someone is guaranteed to win $1,000.”
General raffle tickets are $3, and Super Cash tickets are $5.
The fair opens at 8 a.m. Oct. 7 with a pancake breakfast, and the noon hour is set aside for a cake walk and pie eating contest. Lego design and build workshops are scheduled for noon, 1:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The workshops are age-specific and attendance is limited to 25-30 participants per session, so check the fair schedule for an appropriate time for your child.
Like to see and hear birds in your yard? Kids and adults alike can encourage them to visit by assembling one of 300 birdhouse kits donated by Home Depot.
Another fair sponsor is Normandin Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat in San Jose.
Anyone who dines at Gardino’s restaurant from 4 p.m. to closing on Oct. 5 can put their receipt in a specially marked bowl and have half their bill donated to St. Mary’s. Gardino’s is at 51 N. Santa Cruz Ave.
“This is what we mean by involving the community,” DeMaestri said. “We want to shop local and promote local businesses because we’re so appreciative of what they do for us.”
Members of the Los Gatos High School basketball team are also participating; they’ve volunteered to help with the country fair’s setup and tear down.
The St. Mary’s Country Fair is Oct. 5-8 at 219 Bean Ave. Admission is free, but paid tickets are required for many activities, including rides and food.
Visit stmarysfair.squarespace.com to purchase advance tickets and for a complete rundown of activities.
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