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Four days of fun: St. Raphael’s offers Fall Festival this week
November 13, 2017

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One of the most notable annual events in Lehigh Acres is set to kick off this week.

St. Raphael's 23nd Annual Fall Festival will run Nov. 16-19 at St. Raphael Catholic Church, at 2514 Lee Blvd. The hours are 6 to 11 p.m. Nov. 16, 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Nov. 17, noon to 1:30 a.m. Nov. 18 and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Nov. 19. Admission is free, with $3 for parking.

Each year, the community comes together to indulge in food and games and to partake in a variety of activities and entertainment.

"I've been involved in the fall festival for 20 years now. When the festival first started, there wasn't much here locally for families to do," Laura Pardo, St. Raphael's youth minister, said.

Staffed completely by volunteers, the festival is considered one of the area's premier events.

"Parishioners from the church donate their time each year to make the event a success," she said.

The festival is a major fundraiser for the church. The proceeds help to cover the church's maintenance costs and day-to-day expenses, as well as help fund its outreach ministries, including a food pantry.

"This is our yearly fundraiser. All proceeds go directly to the parish," Pardo said.

Currently, event coordinators are looking for additional volunteers to help out.

The festival offers a variety of entertainment, from carnival rides, to live music and games, along with a wide selection of food vendors. Attendees can sample food from an array of international food booths, including Hispanic dishes, Italian pasta and decadent German-baked goods.

According to Pardo, this year's entertainment includes a few new additions, such as Double Barrel, Flash Back and a demonstration by the Southwest Florida Fencing Academy.

Besides new acts, some of last year's popular performers will be back again this year.

"On Saturday, we will have the Susan Katz Dance (Show) Team and Footnotes Dance and Music Studios," she said.

Other festival activities include a Latin dinner plate served in the church's hall on the evening of Oct. 18, a silent auction and the raffling off of a brand-new SUV. The price per raffle ticket is $25 and the winner will be announced Oct. 19 at 5 p.m.

For more information or to view the festival schedule, visit online at www.facebook.com/saintraphaelfallfestival.

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Regular Size Lehigh Acres Citizen