And just like that, turn around and it’s autumn once again. Alas, our summer in Minnesota was slightly muted this year, but we had a few good hot days toward the end. Enough, in any case, to look forward to a change in season. And we Minnesotans do embrace the change, on the whole: as you peruse social media, you’ll see blog posts and status updates about pumpkin spice or caramel apple beverages or baked goods, talk of “sweater and boots weather,” and walking through Target you’ll already see Halloween decorations and costumes on display. The sun is setting earlier, the nights are cooler, and it’s prime time for fall festivals at schools and churches around the metro!
The fall festival is something I remember fondly from childhood for one reason: Held at St. Thomas the Apostle Church near my home (this was not my parish, which made attending the event seem a bit exciting and clandestine), their annual concocting of giant vats of goulash was a kind of revelation. As an adult, I’ve come to love the St. Helena Parish’s Autumn Daze Festival. A long-standing community event that gets better each year, this community gathering in the Standish-Ericsson neighborhood has games, music, quilt and cash bingo, food, a book sale, a fish fry, a parade, a classic car show, and so much more. (If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the parish, which has been around for more than 100 years, was in the news just a few weeks ago when a lightning strike toppled the concrete cross atop the school building.)
The event kicks off on the third Friday in September each year with a fish fry at 5pm. Shortly thereafter, the games, food and music under the big tent begin, as well as Attic Treasures (the rummage sale) and bingo. On Saturday morning, caramel rolls are served just before the parade begins at 10am, complete with clowns, candy, high school marching bands and even a group of bagpipers. The festival re-commences at 10:30am, lasting all the way til 10pm. Buy books, bid on items in the silent auction and in the basket room, visit the toy room (with or without your mini), enjoy a roast beef sandwich or a sloppy joe. Sunday is bargain bag day: fill a brown bag with books, or treasures from the rummage sale and pay only $5.
Whether you’re devout or a non-believer, the ubiquitous church fall festival has a little something for everyone. Next time you see a sign inviting your to join in—and this time of year, there are A LOT of those signs around—stop in to play a round of bingo, or peruse the book sale; enjoy some mini donuts and check out the classic cars. The fall festival is as Minnesotan as tater tot hot dish, and just as delightful!
Licensed Associate Working with Sharlene Hensrud of RE/MAX Results, and HomesMSP — Sharlene, John, Angela