The timing was right while my brother was visiting from out of state, and we were able to go to the annual "Feast" of the patron saint of the church where we were raised. It was a beautiful late summer's evening, perfect for festivities. Within an hour of opening, the rides, games, food booths, and beer tent were all crowded. We strolled and talked and ate and listened to the music. We even bought raffle tickets on all sorts of goodies. It was nice to be in the old neighborhood with my brother.
We took a few moments to step inside the church where we were both baptized, received communion, and were confirmed. It looked so much smaller than I remembered. I looked at the pew where we sat every Sunday morning, many years ago and wondered who sits there now. There had been some changes to the inside of the church, minor things that made it seem different than the one I knew in my youth. But outside we found something familiar.
It is tradition that the statue of the patron saint is carried through the streets by members of the parish, along with a small band and whoever wants to follow (including children on bicycles). The statue is festooned with ribbons before the procession. When people here the music approaching, they come out of their homes to pin dollar bills to the ribbons. That night, the statue was already set on the platform, ready to be carried through the neighborhood the next day. It was nice to see that some of the old customs haven't changed!
You can visit other participants of the August Break at Susannah Conway's blog, here.