By Yolanda Najera-Ewing
Special to the Sun
It all began again as the St. Francis Church Fiesta Committee held its first Fiesta meeting of the year last week and began setting in motion plans for the community’s 34th Annual St. Francis Church Fiesta on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 and 15, on the church grounds at Church Avenue and Main Street.
Although a number of themes were considered for the Fiesta, the theme selected for this two day event chaired, by Steve Lopez (689-5059) and co-chaired by Olga Lopez (520-827-4119), is “JOY IN SERVING.” Father James Aboyi, newly installed pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, will be presiding over the Annual Church Fiestas Patrias. Father Aboyi along with the Fiesta chairpersons extends an invitation to all for this happening.
Some fund raisers have already been schedule to raise seed money for this event. Steve Lopez along with members of the Fiesta Committee will have a food booth at the April 27 car show held at 201 N. Center in Mesa. This car show will run from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. The $1,000 booth was donated to the Fiesta Committee by the car show sponsors. Joe and Patty Castaneda (520-827-9960 or 520-827-0865) have set March 11 as the date for a golf tournament to benefit the Fiesta. The Tournament will be held at Queen Valley Golf Course and will begin at 7:00 a.m. Joe and Patty will once again sponsor the car show held on Fiesta Saturday. Autos are expected to start rolling in at 7:00 a.m. for a show starting time of 11:00 a.m. The show will end just before the Saturday evening Mass.
At this point in time, priority for the Fiestas Patrias is QUEEN CANDIDATES. Tentatively, three young ladies have indicated that they plan to be queen candidates this year. Queen candidates are being actively sought, and ALL young ladies of the local area ages 5 to 18 are strongly urged to consider being queen candidates. Candidates do not have to be members of the Catholic Church. Each candidate will receive a formal gown, a crown, shoes, a sash and 10% of the funds which they raise. The candidates are set to start their fund raising projects on March 1st. Marcella Garcia is in charge of the queen candidates and their projects and can be reached at 480-550-1578. Other available contacts for the queen candidates are Steve Lopez, Olga Lopez and the church office (689-2250).
The Fiestas Patrias will begin with a parade on Saturday, Sept. 14. Line-up will begin on Main Street and Magma Avenue with the parade proceeding west on Main down to the Fiesta grounds on Main and Church. Anyone wanting to have an entry in the parade can contact the church office.
Food booths will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. ALL food is being prepared at Casa Denogean, Los Hermanos or St. Mary’s Center. Games and other booths will open early in the afternoon. Tickets for all purchases will be sold at the fiesta grounds. Tickets for making purchases at the fiesta will NOT be sold prior to the beginning of the fiesta. Tickets for the annual Fiesta Fund Raiser will be the only tickets sold prior to Sept. 14. Winners of the fund raiser will receive $300, $150 and $75 for first, second and third places respectively.
Presently, Fiesta volunteers include those noted above as well as: Fiesta games and religious articles – Jessica Castillo, Fiesta bank – Kathy Denogean, menudo – the Alonzo Family, cake walk – Stella Castro (689-5242), taquitos and fry bread – Christine Martinez, snow cones and nachos – Rosalie Padilla (602-882-3293), cotton candy – Kathy Sommers, empanadas – Olga Lopez, beer – The Red Barons, Burros – Irene and Bertha Navarro, and hamburgers and hot dogs – Mike and Kathy Zavala (689-5629). The St. Francis Church Knights of Columbus (689-5629) will be taking care of setting up and preparing the fiesta grounds as well as packing up and cleaning of the grounds. Volunteers are still needed for the parade, corn on the cob, sodas, carne asada, games, crystal, novelties and others.
Donations of a monetary nature, products, supplies, or labor are much needed and will be very welcomed. These donations are tax deductible and the Fiesta Committee is providing the tax identification number to all those making donations.
The Annual St. Francis Church Fiestas Patrias have always been more than a fund raiser. The fiestas have been a local tradition for 3 decades and are viewed by its sponsors as a community event for all ages. It is an opportunity to renew acquaintances, make new friends and visit with neighbors and friends while enjoying good food and fun activities.