St. Patrick Fest lifts off Aug. 11

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This year’s St. Patrick Community Festival is full of hot air.

New to the event, held annually to benefit the St. Patrick Catholic church and school in London, are tethered hot air balloon rides. For a small fee, visitors can rise above the festival in a balloon supplied by Re/Max.

The festival itself lifts off at 4 p.m. Aug. 11 at St. Patrick School, 226 Elm St. In addition to the balloon rides, set for 7 to 9 p.m., the day boasts a packed schedule of family fun that runs until 11 p.m.

Games, inflatables and a balloon artist will entertain children. Adults can enjoy games of chance. Everyone can get in on karaoke. Teens will have their own entertainment.

“For the first time, we have a teen tent for 13- to- 18-year-olds. They’ll have a separate deejay from 8:30 to 10:30,” said festival chairwoman Ruth Blackwell.

Food is always a big part of the festival, from fair-type snacks and a beer garden to a catered dinner set for 5 to 7 p.m. inside the school. Dinner is $10 per adult and $5 per child. Kids age 3 and under eat for free. The menu includes smoked beef brisket, barbecue chicken, cole slaw, corn on the cob, rolls, dessert and beverages.

In addition to deejays, entertainment options will include live music from 8 to 11 p.m. by “The Sax Men,” a trio featuring an alto sax player, tenor sax player, and a vocalist. The group hails from Westerville and plays hits from the 1920’s, ’30s and ’40s, blues, dance music, jazz and swing.

A raffle and silent auction will go on throughout the festival. First prize in the raffle is $1,000; second is $500; third is $250. The drawing will take place at 10 p.m. Tickets are $1 each or $5 for six. Paintings by area artists are among the featured items in the auction.

Raffle and dinner tickets may be purchased ahead of time. For details, contact Ruth Blackwell at 740-852-3090. Janice Closser and Christie Pratt-Smith also are members of the festival committee.

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