St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church fall festival returns

St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Mankato hosted its fall festival, which is both a fundraiser and a way to enjoy the fall season as a community.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 2:33 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Mankato community saw the return of a fall tradition from St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church.

Since the 1980s, St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Mankato has hosted a fall festival each year as both a fundraiser and as a way to enjoy the fall season as a community.

That tradition was upended during the pandemic however, as the event was cancelled in 2020 and was a roadside pickup event in 2021.

That made this year’s event a return to form.

Organizers say that although the event is a lot of work, it’s worth it in the end.

“Everybody always says ‘Oh it’s a lot of work and I’m tired and stuff but then you know afterwards ‘Well, it was really a lot of fun though, said Organizer Joyce Wilcox. “The comradery is really, you know, and especially now. People getting to see people that you probably haven’t seen much. And it’s been really important. I’m always glad when it’s over with but it’s always something to look forward to.”

The festival featured lunch and bake sale items alongside silent auction and raffle tables.

The event extended outside where a petting zoo and corn pit were set up alongside a sports tent where the community could watch the Vikings game.

The festival was preceded with a “Bluegrass Mass” where traditional hymns were replaced with bluegrass music from a live band, organized by St. Joseph’s new Music Director Mary Flanagan.

“It was just really beautiful to hear everybody singing along, like on songs like “I’ll Fly Away” or “Keep on the Sunny Side” and you just saw people smiling, and we played Pour Away Flying Stranger” for communion, and I saw people coming up and just like the joy on their face, I could tell that it was like setting the right vibe for the day,” said Flanagan.