SonFest success

St. John Neumann Catholic Church held its annual SonFest event last weekend.  Thousands of people attended the two-day festival.  Games, food, crafts, rides, and performances entertained church members and non-church members alike.  The silent auction had hundreds of items on which to bid, and the various cultures found in the community and in the church provided food and entertainment from their home countries.  The ferris wheel was a major attraction for kids of all ages, and it was beautifully lit at night.

“The idea was community building and I think it has done that,” said church member Carol Allan.

“Father Pat came into this church three years ago, and we needed a shot in the arm.  He’s a terrific young guy who’s really put a lot of enthusiasm back into the parish.  And the other thing is we are a different demographic than we were; we are a diverse population,” said Al Tinson, long-time church member.  “We want to invite the community in because we feel like we’re part of the community, but we also wanted within our community to get people to know each other.”

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SonFest: Mint Hill’s summer carnival

St. John Neumann Catholic Church is kicking off summer by hosting its second-annual SonFest starting this Friday.  The church invites Mint Hill to celebrate summer and the community for this two-day festival.  It will run Friday from 5-10 pm and Saturday from noon to 10 pm.

The parking lot will hold about 10 carnival game tents, a dunking booth, a 40-foot ferris wheel, inflatables, and a bungee trampoline, among other attractions.

And it wouldn’t be a fair without food.  International foods representing the diversity of the parish and the community will be available: look for Italian, Hispanic, Vietnamese, Eritrean, Polish, and American foods and a desert tent.

To continue the international festivities, various cultural dancers will perform.  Come watch the Mexican ballet, Irish dancers, Polish dancers, and Middle Eastern belly dancers.  There will also be performances from contemporary Christian bands.

SonFest-goers will have the opportunity to enter the I’m Feeling Lucky Raffle.  Tickets are five dollars each or 25 dollars for a book of six tickets, and prizes include 200, 500, or 2500 dollars in cash.  The drawing will be held at the outside stage Saturday at 9 pm.  Prizes are also available through the silent auction, and include a beach and mountain getaway.

SonFest tickets are 20 dollars for 25 tickets when purchased in advance.  Games, rides, and food require one-dollar tickets.  Patrons can show their support for SonFest by purchasing an event t-shirt for 12 dollars.  Money raised supports the church’s efforts, but event chairman Anthony Morlando says the event is more than that.

“The main reason is to pull together for our community and to create a tradition for Mint Hill,” said Morlando.  “We want to go beyond our church boundaries.”

For more information visit 4sjnc.org/sonfest_2012.

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