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St. Andrew festival set for Jan. 15-18

By Staff | Jan 9, 2015

Saint Andrew Catholic School will host its big annual fundraiser next week.

The Saint Andrew Catholic School Festival will kick off Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. on the school’s grounds. Marking its 24th year, the event features carnival rides, games and live entertainment.

“It started as a fundraiser for the school to help keep tuition down for the students and to get the community more involved with the school,” Kara Holleran, event coordinator, said.

The event will continue on Friday, Jan. 16, from 6 to 11 p.m. at the school. On Saturday, Jan. 17, the festival will be open from noon to 11 p.m. and then on Sunday, Jan. 18, from noon to 10 p.m.

Last year, an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people attended over the four days.

“It was a success,” she said.

With better weather predicted this year, and the event not falling on the same weekend as the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts – as it did in 2014 – organizers are hoping for a bigger crowd.

Admission to the event and parking are free.

Pre-sale ride bracelets are available for purchase for $55 each up until 5 p.m. Thursday. At the opening of the festival and for the remaining three days, the ride bracelets will be available for $75 each.

Ride bracelets entitle the wearer to unlimited rides during the entire four days.

Single tickets for the rides will also be available for purchase.

Holleran explained that the rides typically take four to six tickets each, at about $1.25 per ticket.

“It ends up being quite a savings,” she said of the ride bracelets.

The carnival rides include a Ferris wheel, the Gravitron, the Zipper and more.

“There’s a ride for everyone,” Holleran said, adding that there are ones for smaller children.

The festival also features a mix of games and activities.

“It varies for different ages, as well,” she said.

There will be a mix of live entertainment throughout the four days.

“Every day it varies,” Holleran said. “We’ve got all the local dance studios to come in and do a few hours, the Calendar Girls and the Hot Flashz. We do have a deejay every night that comes in.”

There will be food and drinks available for sale on site. New this year, organizers have partnered with the local restaurants to offers everything from sushi and sandwiches, to Greek dishes and pork.

“We have local vendors that are coming in and setting up food tents,” she said. “We’re trying to pull more of the community into it, and the local restaurants have always been so good to us.”

A silent auction will be held in the school cafeteria, with bidding to close at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Auction items include weekend getaways, a paddleboard table, a piano and more. There will also be gift baskets containing similar items that will available to bid on, and they will vary in value.

“We have a dog again,” Holleran said. “Last year, we had like 12 families bidding on the dog.”

Also Sunday, the $10,000 raffle drawing will take place at 7 p.m. Tickets are $1 each.

“The main thing is it’s a great community event,” she said.

“It’s a lot less expense than going to Disney, and there’s just as much stuff,” Holleran added.

Pre-sale ride bracelets can be purchased online at: www.SaintAndrewsFestival.com or by stopping by the Saint Andrew Catholic School office or the parish office from now until Thursday.

Parking is available at the church and at Busey Bank and Fifth Third Bank.

Saint Andrew Catholic School is at 2628 S. Del Prado Blvd.