The big white tent always tells it all. The annual Holy Angels Summer Festival – one of the oldest and most tradition-laden festivals in the East Bay -- runs this weekend, Aug. 16-17.
The official festival dates are Friday, Aug. 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17. But a steak cookout under the big tent sets the stage for the festival tonight. You had to have a ticket in advance; tickets are not sold at the door.
The two festival nights both start at 6 pm and run to whenever the last person goes home.
“We’re all set and ready to go,” said Barbara St. Angelo, the chair of the festival committee for many years.
Tradition tends to rule the festival, although there always seem to be a few new and special things each year.
“We have three blow-ups for the kids this year,” said St. Angeo. “A slide, an obstacle course and a climbing one named Jacob’s Ladder. All very safe for kids.”
Like usual, there will be lots of homemade Italian food, raffles for adults and kids, baked goods, a white elephant sale, and airbrush tattoos mixed in with children’s games. With a host of other volunteers, St. Angelo was busy making Ziti Wednesday morning.
“We have a really nice eating area,” she said.
Among the usual favorites, St. Angelo said, are meatballs, eggplant, chourico and peppers, pizza, and doughboys.
The festival also has musical entertainment Friday and Saturday evenings: “Gemini” on the first night, and the duo of Joe and Susan Sturm on the second night.
The Holy Angels festival couldn’t happen without scores of volunteers, said St. Angelo. They do everything and anything that has to do with the festival, including cooking, set-up and clean-up.
The festival also has scores of sponsors. A board on Maple Avenue lists all of them, including numerous local businesses, organizations and individual donors.
A procession during the Sunday Feast of the Assumption 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.