St. Catherine’s Carnival promises rides, games and fun

The annual St. Catherine’s Carnival of Fun returns to Riverside on Tuesday, Aug. 12, and people can’t wait for the combination of games, rides, music, food and, of course, fun. – Kathy DiGiovanna

The annual St. Catherine’s Carnival of Fun returns to Riverside on Tuesday, Aug. 12, and people can’t wait for the combination of games, rides, music, food and, of course, fun. – Kathy DiGiovanna

It’s carnival time in Greenwich and what better way to break through the August doldrums than heading out to the annual St. Catherine’s Carnival of Fun.

This year, St. Catherine of Siena Church is celebrating its 101st anniversary and the carnival will be held from Tuesday, Aug. 12 through Saturday, Aug. 16, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and until 11 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The event will be held on the church’s grounds at 4 Riverside Avenue. The carnival annually attracts families from all over town and this year is expected to be no different with carnival rides, games, food and fun each night.

“This is the place to be if you want to entertain out-of-town guests,” said Pam Sloane, one of the many volunteers in town who put the event together. “This is the place to dine out during the hot August evenings, the place where your family and friends can be together, where someone else is hovering over the grill, where someone else is preparing the food, where someone else is doing the cleanup, where someone else is in charge of the entertainment. You just show up.”

Ms. Sloane said the carnival is the result of year-long planning from Fred Durante Jr. and Cindy Busani as well as what she called “an inspired committee.” Mr. Durante started his work for the carnival at the age of 15 as a volunteer and now he is one of the driving forces. Ms. Sloane also credited Carol Weigold, Betsy Parker and Essy Obuchowski who are promoting the raffle of a 2015 Midnight Blue metallic BMW X1 and other exciting prizes at the carnival.

The BMW will be raffled off at 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, but it’s not the only prize that will be available and a 50/50 winner will be called each night of the carnival.

“Behind the scenes, Kathy Kriskey is corralling volunteers for the various activities,” Ms. Sloane said. “Jane Laudonia and Pam Sloane are finalizing the sponsors. Fran Judice and team are oiling up the machinery for the pizza fritta booth. Betsy Parker is getting ready for the game booths. Janet Wrabel and the St. Catherine’s Youth Group are lining up the good sports for the dunking booth. Irene and Chris Theriot are  overseeing the food court. Phil Lodato and Geoff Smith are gathering the guys for the grill. Jim and Steve Coffey are dealing with permits and all the little details that make it happen. And Msgr. Alan Detscher and Father Frank Hoffmann look over this activity with gratitude knowing that this is what building a church community is all about, knowing that this single event is what enables St. Catherine’s to provide many of the educational opportunities, the spiritual enrichment, and the numerous works of social justice for which the parish has always been known. And the whole community can have fun.”

This year attendees can take advantage of “bracelet nights” on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On those nights for $25 people can ride all the rides they wish, all night long. New rides include the EXPO Wheet and Leap Frog. There will also be face painting, a photo booth and nightly games of bingo.

Parking will be scarce in the area so people can leave their cars at Eastern Middle School at 51 Hendrie Avenue and take the shuttle bus to the carnival grounds. Shuttle service will begin nightly at 6 p.m. until shortly after the carnival closes. Credit cards will be accepted this year for the first time, making it more convenient.

“This is where the famous and the infamous come to be dunked,” Ms. Sloane said. “It’s where the pizza fritta sizzles under the careful hands of Fran Judice and a bevy of practiced women and men who know just how much it needs to be stretched. It’s where you get the delectable grilled Scarpelli sausage and peppers and grilled marinated chicken breasts. We’re going be offering Philly cheese steaks this year and you can enjoy a different seafood entrée each night from Aux Delices and other specialties. It’s where the ice cream is fresh and where DiMare’s cannolis arrive minutes before serving. It’s where you can dance or watch the dancers to different styles of music every night thanks to DJ Joe’s expert mixing. It’s where the rides thrill and the lights sparkle and the game booths click away.”

For additional information call 203-637-3661 or go online to Stcath.org/Carnival

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