Summer, fall festivals on tap at local parishes, schools

  • Written by Nathan Whalen
  • Published in Local
Volunteers smoked 500 pounds of pork and shucked 1,000 ears of corn for last year’s Cowlitz Summer Fest at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Kelso. This year’s event is Saturday, Aug. 6. Photo: Courtesy St. Rose Parish Facebook page Volunteers smoked 500 pounds of pork and shucked 1,000 ears of corn for last year’s Cowlitz Summer Fest at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Kelso. This year’s event is Saturday, Aug. 6. Photo: Courtesy St. Rose Parish Facebook page

Summer and fall are festival season, and parish communities around the archdiocese join the fun with events that support their parishes and schools. 

Here’s a look at a handful of festivals that are easily accessible, just a short drive off Interstate 5:

Those traveling between the Puget Sound area and Portland on Aug. 6 can plan a stop for “BBQ, bands and brews” at the Cowlitz Summer Fest in Kelso.

The event, from noon to 9 p.m., is being held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 2200 Allen St., about a half-mile off the freeway. On tap are activities for kids, the “Reptile Roadshow,” live music, a beer garden, live and silent auctions and a variety of food, including a pulled pork and sausage dinner ($12 per person) served from 3-7 p.m.

The festival, in its third year, is jointly sponsored with St. Mary Parish in Castle Rock and St. Rose Parish and School in Longview. Proceeds will benefit all three parishes and the school.

Vietnamese food, entertainment and faith traditions are the highlights of Summer Fest, Aug. 12-14 at Vietnamese Martyrs Parish, 6841 S. 180th St., Tukwila (about 2 miles from Westfield Southcenter mall). Parking is off-site, and a free shuttle is available (see box for details).

“We want to share our cultural diversity with the city of Tukwila,” said the pastor, Father Thanh Dao.

candlelight prayer A candlelight prayer gathering is part of Summer Fest at Vietnamese Martyrs Parish in Tukwila. Photo: Courtesy Father Thanh Dao

The 26th annual festival kicks off Friday, Aug. 12, with a 5:30 p.m. procession in honor our Our Lady of La Vang and the Vietnamese Martyrs, followed by Mass. Events during the weekend include a talent show (open to all), musical entertainment, Sunday Mass, and a Saturday night candlelight gathering to pray for religious freedom and human rights in Vietnam, according to Father Dao.

Summer Fest also includes offerings from other cultural groups. “We want to support the city of Tukwila’s cultural diversity,” he added.

Proceeds from the event will help fund a new church and faith formation building to serve the 1,700-household parish, which has 800 children in its faith formation program, Father Dao said. About $7 million of the $16 million needed has been raised, and the pastor said he hopes construction will begin in a couple of years.

Parish festivals continue into September and October, with the Great Wallingford Wurst Fest slated Sept. 16-17 at Seattle’s St. Benedict School. In its 33rd year, the Octoberfest-style event began as a small fundraiser for the school, but now draws more than 10,000 people, according to the school website. 

Besides its namesake wurst and other food, the festival features a beer garden, rides and games for kids, craft booths, a book sale, a raffle and lots of live music on an outdoor stage. The school is located at 4811 Wallingford Ave. N., less than a mile off Interstate 5 at Northeast 50th Street. 

Another meaty festival is on tap Oct. 7-9, when the Everett Sausage Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, 2619 Cedar St., Everett. The Bavarian-themed event, which supports Everett’s Immaculate Conception/Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, raised $95,000 in 2015.

This year’s festivalgoers will find games and entertainment for children, a carnival, beer garden with wine bar, bingo, a raffle, food booths and a traditional Bavarian dinner. Park on the street near the parish or take a free shuttle from the Everett Transit Station, 3201 Smith Ave.; both are located less than a mile off Interstate 5.

shucking corn
Photo: Courtesy St. Rose Parish Facebook page

Join the fun at parish festivals 

Aug. 6 – Cowlitz Summer Fest, noon to 9 p.m. Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 2200 Allen St. Kelso.

Aug. 12-14 – Summer Fest, Vietnamese Martyrs Parish, 6841 S. 180th St., Tukwila. Hours: Friday, 5:30-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free parking and shuttle are a half-mile from the church, at IDC Medical Plaza, 1412 S.W. 43rd St., Renton.

Sept. 16-17 – The Great Wallingford Wurst Fest, St. Benedict Parish, 1805 N. 49th St., Seattle.

Oct. 7-9 – Everett Sausage Fest, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 2619 Cedar St., Everett. Hours: Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday, noon to 7 p.m.