SILVER CREEK - Since 1956, the Columban Sisters have held a Spring Festival at St. Columban's on the Lake on Route 5, near Silver Creek. On Sunday, this festival was held for the 56th time.
The purpose of the festival is to benefit the Columban Sisters worldwide missions. One of those missions is the retirement home on the grounds of what was once a seminary.
Other missions are located in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Myanmar, the Philippines, Pakistan, Chile and Peru. During a colorful opening parade, Mayson Browning, Maddox Browning, Caden Herc, Holland Browning, Ralph Browning, Brianna Browning, Brook Browning, Julia Deland, and Abbey Browning wore costumes representing the areas where the sisters serve. The children were relatives and friends of the employees of St. Columbans on the Lake.
OBSERVER Photos by Diane R. Chodan
Top: Left to right: Alayna Starr, Madison Knavel, and Kennedy Knavel are members of the Polish Heritage Dancers of Western New York which practices in Lancaster. The group came to St. Columban’s on the Lake and performed at the Spring Festival.
Above: Sister Divina Lua worked in the Columban sisters tent. Here she shows a Chinese paper cutting.
As always, people turned out to support the sisters.
In spite of weather that was alternately beautiful and threatening, people came out to enjoy what the festival had to offer. The traditional chicken barbecue by Chiavetta drew a crowd. Some people elected to eat under the tents set up while others took the meal home to enjoy. In addition to the chicken barbecue other festival food was available including beer. Specialty tents offered such items as plants, wine, theme baskets, and toys on which to take a chance. There were also tents housing games of chance, and items for sale such as a Chinese paper cutting.
A very popular tent was one selling baked goods. Volunteers including Deb Gabel, Cindy Kohn and Jochen Hutzenlaub and Andrea Domst worked in that tent. All the volunteers pointed to Sister Mary McManus as the person responsible for the incredible amount and variety of baked goods, including pies, scones, cookies, rolls, and Irish soda bread.
When asked how long it took to create all these treats, Sister Mary said, "I worked eight days for about 10 hours a day."
Dancers also came to entertain. A group of Irish dancers performed. In addition the Polish Heritage Dancers in their traditional and colorful entertained.
Sister Corona Colleary, the home's administrator, said, "It was a great turnout and we are grateful to the community for its support."
Pat Morelle, volunteer for the festival said, "The support of the community is always overwhelming. We want to express our gratitude to everyone who came, donated, and volunteered."
After the day was over a rainbow, traditionally a symbol of God's blessing, was visible. This was a perfect end to a day that the community anticipates and supports.
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