St. John’s goes back to basics, celebrates family, tradition and food

Jul 17, 2017 440


Before getting to the ticket booths at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, the smell of red sauce and the sounds of live music greeted those attending the parish’s 35th annual festival. The bustling crowds lined up everywhere for Italian and Polish food, beer, raffle tickets, the bocce tournament — but not for paying an entry fee, as they had last year. And Tom Palumbo, event chairman, couldn’t have been happier about that.

“Last year I think we made a mistake and went away from our tradition,” he said. “And now we’re back to that.” The event started as a block party in North Olean and hosted by Tony Anastasia, according to Carm Mikolajczyk, who was in charge of pizza for the festival this year. She said the party eventually got so big, the church got involved.

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