NEWTON TWP. — Our Lady of the Snows and The Church of St. Benedict’s 2016 Country Bazaar, scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 4 through 6 on the grounds of The Church of St. Benedict on Newton Ransom Boulevard, will shine lights of hope into the community – both literally and figuratively.
When the parish leadership and event committee first got together to start planning this year’s annual event, according to committee member John Cosgrove, it was with a desire to bring the church community together as a whole and simultaneously celebrate the parish’s 25th anniversary. This lead to the idea for a Garden of Light and Hope, which he described as “an art installation that has a spiritual component to it.”
The “garden” will be comprised of hundreds of luminaries containing memories and sentiments from community members. For $5, people can write a special message on one of the luminaries.
“There will be a large, about 16-foot illumination of the word ‘hope,’ which will be surrounded by all of these individual hopes and prayers and memorials,” Cosgrove said. “And then on the last evening of the bazaar event, as the sun goes down, they will all be illuminated.”
People can purchase a luminary and write out their sentiments in person at either of the churches or online at olsparish.net.
“Everybody, whether they can physically come to the event or not, will be able to participate,” Cosgrove said.
The bazaar, now on its 24th year, also includes a vast array of family-friendly activities, such as children’s games, a balloon artist, miniature golf, lots of food, a coffee house with acoustic music, live entertainment, bingo, raffles, a bargain barn, book barn, antiques and more.
According to Tom Cummings, who is co-chairing the event with Mary Carroll Donahoe, the bazaar attracts thousands of people each year and takes more than 100 volunteers to pull off.
“It’s a great opportunity for people both in and outside the parish to connect, to see each other, to make new friends, renew old friendships,” he said.
This year’s live music schedule features a different theme each evening: “Bring The Beatles Back to Life,” with the Fab Three on Thursday; “25 years of line dancing,” with EJ the DJ on Friday and “The Sinatra Century,” starting out with The Gallagher School of Irish Dancing, followed by Ken McGraw Jazz Ensemble, accompanied by Chris DiMattio on Saturday.
Parking for the event will be available at the Red Barn Village, with a shuttle offering rides from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 5 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.