It was a soggy week, but the three-day St. Bernard's Church Carnival - which ran from Thursday, June 12, through Saturday, June 14 - ended on a sunny note with crowds of pleasure-seekers descending on the church grounds for an evening of wholesome family fun.
"I'm not sure how long the carnival has been held here - probably 30 to 40 years," said St. Bernard Church pastor Fr. John Melnick. "I've been here for six years, so it predates me by quite some time. They tell stories, in the day, that there was also a parade that went along with it." Melnick said the annual carnival is a time for their school families to come together for a little fun and an opportunity to do some outreach to the wider community. "It's our way of saying that church can be fun, too," he said.
Fun was certainly on the menu, with an assortment of rides provided by Northeast Midways of Coventry, R.I., that appealed to every age - from popular standards like the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel to the more exhilarating Bullet, a fun house, the Scrambler, a bounce house, and more.
There was also plenty to eat, from an assortment of food vendors, games of chance for every skill level, an hourly 50/50 raffle advertised by very energetic volunteer Ed Yiznitsky, and good music that kept things lively all evening long.
"I teach CCD class here, and this is the really fun part of my job," said Cindy Mangini, who was watching her grandson Vinnie jumping in the bounce house. "It's a great fundraiser for the parish and just clean, healthy fun for everyone," she said.
Following the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, June 15, the parish's Boy Scout troop put on a breakfast, where the winning tickets for the annual raffle were drawn.
"Jim Pellegrini [of Somers] won first prize, which was a $2,500 gift certificate to Holyoke Mall," said Jackie Yiznitsky, office manager at the church. The second prize drawing for a $1,500 gift certificate to Home Depot went to Ann Nelson, of Wethersfield, and the third prize drawing for a $500 gift certificate to Stop and Shop went to Barry Ashworth, who lives in Enfield, she said. "Jim and Maureen [Pellegrini] have worked so hard for so many years here, so I was really glad they won, and Ann [Nelson] is the daughter of Rosa O'Brien, our long-time cook who decided to retire from the job at 90. Barry [Ashworth] is a parishioner here, too, so it's all in the family," Yiznitsky said.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun