The big white tent off of Maple Avenue tells it all. The annual Holy Angels Summer Festival runs this weekend – a week later than usual but still one of the oldest and most tradition-laden festivals in the East Bay.
“It’s just a fun thing,” said Barbara St. Angelo, who has been coordinating the event for the parish since the 1970s. “It’s a social gathering, too. We see people we haven’t seen for a long time.”
The official festival dates are Friday, Aug. 17 and Saturday, Aug. 18. But a steak cookout under the big tent got things going Thursday evening. The two festival nights start at 6 pm and run to whenever the last person goes home.
The festival will have the usual favorites, St. Angelo said, especially trays of homemade Italian food -- meatballs, eggplant, chourico and peppers, pizza, and doughboys are among the favorites.
New this year will be an obstacle course for children, a flush tank, X-Box games, and airbrush tattoos, said St. Angelo.
A flush tank? Picture someone standing in a shower with a toilet tank overhead and getting “flushed” from above by gallons of water that re-circulates for the next victim.
Of course, the festival will have the usual raffles, a flea market and music both evenings. A board on Maple Avenue lists all of the festival’s scores of sponsors, including numerous local businesses, organizations and many individual donors.
A procession during the Sunday mass at 10:30 am concludes the annual event that is a major fundraiser for the parish. Be aware of parishioners who will march west on Maple Avenue to Barrington Avenue, go north on Barrington to Roffee Street, turn east on Roffee to South Street and then return via South Street to the parish for the benediction.
The Holy Angels festival couldn’t happen without plenty of volunteers, said St. Angelo. They do everything that has to do with the festival, including cooking, set-up and clean-up.
Working closely with St. Angelo on the festival committee are her husband, John; Luigi and Carmella Carusi; Peter DeAngelis; Judy and Joe Pine, and Bob Reed.