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Ticket to Ride

By Staff | Jan 10, 2012

St. Andrew Catholic School’s wildly popular four-day festival and carnival returns Thursday.

Entering its 21st year, the festival attracts thousands of people to the Catholic school and church over its long weekend run to enjoy rides, food, entertainment and all around good-hearted family fun.

The event also acts as one of the major fund-raisers for the school, which has 295 full-time students.

Sister Elizabeth Meegan said the funds raised allows for the school to provide scholarships to students who could not otherwise afford to attend St. Andrews.

The funds also help in other areas, she said.

“It keeps tuition down and goes into operations and it’s real important for us to do well,” Meegan added.

Fund-raising aside, the festival is more of an opportunity to have fun with friends and family.

A full slate of live performances and demonstrations is scheduled for each day of operation.

Scheduled performers include, but are not limited to, Heart and Soles Dance Team, Cape Coral Academy of Music, Rhythm in Motion, Kobayashi Dojo, Nabbie’s Performing Arts Studio, the Hot Flashz, The Dance Warehouse and more.

But at the heart of the event are the carnival rides, games and food, which offer something for everyone.

“The festival is so popular because it appeals to all different age levels. It’s very much a family celebration,” Sister Meegan said. “There’s something for little kids, teenagers, senior citizens … there’s something for every person in the family.”

Parking and admission for the event are free.

Prices for rides and food vary, but ride bracelets, which allow for unlimited rides all four days of the festival, are available for purchase for $55.

Sister Meegan said the bracelets are the best value because ride tickets can add up fast for a family.

A silent auction will be taking place during the event. Vacation packages, baskets created by “room mothers” and even a puppy are up for bid.

Additional activities include:

n A Texas Hold-Em Tournament will be held in the Parish Hall, Friday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. (The tournament is held after the rest of the festival so all of the volunteers working the event can also participate.)

n $10,000 raffle

n The 5th annual Miss Cape Coral and Miss Teen Cape Coral pageant will be held Saturday, Jan. 14, at the St. Andrew’s Festival.

This is the official preliminary pageant to the Miss Florida US International and Miss Teen Florida pageant. The current Miss Teen Florida is Michelle Huey from Cape Coral.

The pageant is open to area young ladies from ages 14-18 for Teens and 18-25 for Miss. There will be divisions for younger children from ages 3 to 13. Prizes include scholarships, clothing gift certificates, modeling classes, photos and more.

No prior pageant experience is necessary nor is there a performing talent needed, according to a press release.

Sister Meegan is encouraging everyone and anyone to attend the festival. Bring the family, have a good time and enjoy all the festival has to offer.

“Everyone is most welcome and I hope they will find it highly enjoyable,” she said.

For more information visit SAINTANDREWSFESTIVAL.COM.