Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish prepares for sixth festival

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish will hold its sixth annual festival Aug. 20-23. Photo courtesy of BTC Parish
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish will hold its sixth annual festival Aug. 20-23. Photo courtesy of BTC Parish

The Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (BTC) Parish in Limerick will be holding its sixth annual festival next week, and it boasts fun for everyone, with some new attractions this year for all ages.

The festival will offer a full midway of amusement rides, along with a rock wall, bungee jump, dunk tank and many boardwalk-style games for kids, from toddlers and preschoolers right up to teens.

Adults can enjoy the beer and wine garden and nightly live entertainment, along with games of chance and the two specialty bingos that were introduced a few years ago: Vera Bradley Bingo on Thursday night and Gift Card Bingo on Saturday.

There is also a Business Expo offering local businesses and vendors a chance to exhibit their products and services. Numerous raffles are available, with last year’s cash raffle grand prize totaling $6,800.

“This year we’ve added a few new attractions to our kids’ game area, including a speed pitch game,” said Father Paul Brandt, pastor of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish. “Recently opened, Manatawny Still Works will be in our Beer Garden on Saturday night offering specialty drinks made with their locally distilled liquors. We are always expanding our food menu, and this year we have added waffle ice cream sandwiches, bringing a taste of the Jersey Shore to the festival.”

Brandt noted that one thing that will be the same this year are the musicians and performers.

The band Seven Day Sunday is performing on Thursday, Rich DeSimone is bringing his Frank Sinatra show back on Friday, and three singers/songwriters, John Anthony Seitz, Sean Royle Smith and Mr. Mike, will take the stage on Saturday.

“We add new elements every year, but we also like to repeat some of the things we know our attendees enjoy,” Brandt said. “The Parish Community Festival creates numerous benefits for our parish community. It offers our parishioners the opportunity to make new acquaintances by working alongside fellow parishioners. It gives our parish the exposure to the local community so that all local residents know the welcoming aspect of our parish. And it provides us an opportunity to raise funds to support the continued growth and success of our parish.”

The festival continues to grow and attract more people from Limerick Township and beyond.

“We started with a small group of attractions and food items,” said Brandt. “Each year we have built on that foundation by adding and expanding our homemade foods, entertainment and fun offered to the community.”

A favorite food item among the festival-goers is Capt’n Chucky’s Crab Cakes.

“Our family is excited to be involved in the BTC Festival for our third year,” said Janice Heckman, owner of Capt’n Chucky’s. “BTC is our home parish, and we love being the seafood part of the festivities. We will have our colossal lump crab cakes offered on a potato roll as a sandwich, or with coleslaw and cornbread on a dinner platter, lobster roll sandwiches and colossal shrimp cocktail, too. Stop by Thursday or Saturday to enjoy Capt’n Chucky’s items this year.”

The attendance of families has increased over the past six years, as well. The Parish estimated that last year’s festival drew more than 8,000 people.

“People tell us they come back year after year because they look forward to this family event,” said Brandt. “We’ve also expanded our partnerships with the community by adding sponsorship opportunities for local businesses. This is just our second year offering sponsorships, and we’re pleased to have 15 businesses supporting us as sponsors. It’s a great way for them to gain visibility with thousands of potential customers while helping us defray some of our festival expenses.”

The money raised by the festival gives the Parish the opportunity to keep the parish on the cutting edge of progress and success. The costs for maintaining and growing the parish community are evident in the care of the campus and the development of new programs.

The festival will be held from Aug. 20 to 23, from 6 to 11 p.m. at BTC, located at 256 Swamp Pike, Limerick.