Review Written by Nathan Wertheimer
Altamonte Springs, FL — St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Parish held their annual CommunityFest which is Central Florida’s longest running and largest church festival on the weekend of October 14-16, 2016. The CommunityFest features non-stop live entertainment, a 20-booth international food and beverage court, midway rides and games for all ages and a spectacular Super Raffle for a $15,000 Grand Prize –or- a $15,000 tax-free scholarship to our award-winning SMM Catholic School.
When you drive over to this event, there is limited parking on the property of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church. Some of the residents around the church were charging to park on their property for about $10 per vehicle. If you were looking for free parking some of the residential side street had free parking if you were willing to walk. However, if you did not feel like walking, the church provided a Park-N-Ride service the from Altamonte Commons property at 251 Maitland Avenue to the event site.
On Saturday afternoon, the crowds were a little light, which is the best time to come over to this festival. All rides and games were open. Plus, many food vendors were waiting to serve hungry festivalgoers. They had a variety of food to choose from such as steaks, Chinese food, seafood, popcorn, corn on the cob, fried Oreos and Sneaker Bars, pizza, and much more. I tried the steak with grilled onions and it was very tasty. For dessert I had a chance to try the fried Oreo, which is a festival favorite. If you never had a fried Oreo than this was your chance to try it. Get them while they last.
There are many live stage acts during the festival weekend. One event that people should not miss is the Parade of Nations, which is made up about twenty Church members showing off their home county’s flags. The Church members were proud to show off their flags. They paraded in front of the Gym to the outside stage. Get photo moment for all you photography buffs.
During Saturday’s evening, the crowds started arriving with their entire families. The festival was starting to look lively. When band Hot Property took the stage where they started playing American Rock n Roll songs to people they knew. This band was amazing playing great music with special lighting effects. This band plays variety music from the 60’s through the decades to the absolute hottest Top 40 dance tunes of today. Some people were even dancing in front of the stage till the end of the night. For more information on the band Hot Property go to https://www.talentagency.com/talent/hot-property/
There was more than just music at this event. Many adults and children hung out at the rides and games area. Some of the games included bumper cars, a Ferris Wheel, Ali Baba ride, the Pirate Ship pendulum ride, a drop tower, a Tilt-A-Whirl, and the Tornado. I did not have a chance to ride any of these rides, but look like a lot of fun. It is recommended to get there in the late afternoon where the lines are not so long at all. Also, there were the typical carnival games such as The Duck Pond Game, The Gold Fish Ring Toss Game, Batting Cage Game, and the Basketball Hoop Game. Some attendees walked away winners with huge stuffed animals. Just make sure you have room in your vehicle to take home a large stuffed animal.
Beside the rides and games, there was carnival food and drinks. Many people visited the Candy Factory selling cotton candy and variety of candy apples. Plus, there was a Lemonade Stand, which was shaped as a yellow lemon selling real fresh lemonade. It was not your processed lemonade version at your local grocery store. Just real fresh squeezed lemonade.
To end the day, I was not able to see to everything at this festival. Some activities I missed were the BINGO games, raffle for gift baskets, small children rides, and some the other wonderful live entertainment on stage.
If you did not have a chance to go to this year’s CommunityFest then mark your calendar for October 20-22, 2017. For more information go to http://www.stmarymagdalen.org/ParishInfo/CommunityFest/CommunityFest.htm or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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