St. Raphael’s celebrates 25th year
November 13, 2019


Featuring a plethora of carnival rides, international street fare favorites, lots of live entertainment and more, the 25th annual St. Raphael Fall Festival will begin Thursday and continue through the weekend.

According to Oscar Gamble, the chairperson and president of the Renaissance Committee of Saint Raphael Church, the fall festival is part of a longtime community tradition that has earned the honor of being one of Lee County's premier events.

"This year we added a few more food vendors within our Latin section. Besides that, we will have similar rides to last year. We have used the same carnival providers since we began the festival in a small corner lot across the street 25 years ago. Steve Lisko and his staff, who are in charge of the carnival, does a great job making sure that all the rides are safe and reliable," Gamble said.

Every year the festival comes to life thanks to the talent and efforts of a team of volunteers. The church is still accepting additional volunteers to be part of this year's event.

"The festival is the backbone of St. Raphael Church. It not only provides the funds needed for maintenance, and day to day expenses of the church itself, but is also used locally, within Lee County through Catholic Charities, to aid in community relief and provide services to those in need," Gamble said.

Besides an array of carnival rides, the event features an assortment of international food booths -- from Hispanic dishes to Italian pasta to German baked goods. Every year the festival has expanded its food section to meet and satisfy the appetites of the diverse community.

The festival also features a variety of entertainment, including a mixture of bands, DJ's and dance acts.

"We have DJ Luis on Thursday evening to kick off the event. He did our Jalapeno Festival last year and was a favorite among the attendees. We will also have Footnotes Dance and Music Studio back this year. They will perform on Saturday," Gamble said.

According to Gamble, a four-day arm band special can can be purchased for $45 at the church prior to Wednesday, Nov.13. Then the arm bands will go up to $55.

"We also have daily specials available for the festival, $30 per person. They can be purchased at the ticket booths inside the festival," Gamble said.

The festival has a bake sale and a silent auction each year that's located inside the church's main hall. Guests get the chance to bid on unique local gifts through the silent auction.

Items will be displayed with prices for attendees to view.

The silent auction is scheduled for Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.


The church is accepting donations for goods and services to be auctioned at the festival. Donations are tax deductable. Donated items must be in very good or new conditions. Those who have an item they would like to donate can contact Alexandra Toledo (239) 896-3727 or email at

Festival days/hours:

- Thursday, Nov. 14, from 6 to 11 p.m.

- Friday, Nov. 15, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

- Saturday, Nov. 16, from noon to midnight.

- Sunday, Nov. 17 from 1:30 to 11 p.m.

On Sunday food booth opens at noon and the festival opens at 2 p.m.

St Raphael's Catholic Church is located at 2514 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres. Phone: 239-369-1831. For a list of events or additional information on the festival visit


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