Hundreds enjoy food, music, fun at four regional church picnics
Those who enjoy homemade food and free entertainment had plenty of options Saturday.
Himmels Church, Rebuck; Transfiguration Ukrainian Catholic Church, Shamokin; Holy Angels Church, Kulpmont, and Our Lady of Mercy Church, Slabtown, held their respective festivals and block parties.
The events catered to a wide range of people. There were plenty of food options, from homemade pigeons to classic-cut french fries. Entertainment also varied, from a 1960s tribute band to Christian music groups.
At Himmel's Church Grove, homemade ice cream topped with peaches and free potato chips cooked on the spot by Dale Fetter were just a few of the delicious treats offered at the annual event, located in the shade along Schwaben Creek.
Live entertainment, a duck derby, animal balloon making and exhibits demonstrating the lifestyle of the Cherokee Indians rounded out the fun in Rebuck.
Long lines for potato cakes at the Transfiguration block party along Shamokin Street proved the ethnic treats are as popular as ever. Almost as popular as the potato cakes was the haluski, which sold almost as fast as it was cooked.
Church volunteers kept busy manning stations throughout the grounds and in the basement of the church, where the kitchen is located. Runners constantly carried food back and forth from the church to the parish grounds.
About 5 miles to the east of the Transfiguration block party, another popular coal region event was taking place: The Holy Angels Church picnic. Lines were long for potato cakes, torpedo subs and funnel cakes. A team of experienced volunteers worked vigorously to keep the lines moving.
Children were entertained by games and a face-painting stand. For adults, a basket raffle that consisted of 153 themed baskets - a record for the picnic - was held Saturday evening.
Our Lady of Mercy
Two words: cake wheel.
For 50 cents, people could try their luck at winning a homemade pie or cake at the Our Lady of Mercy Church annual picnic. After a spin of the wheel, a pin landed on one of 40 numbers. Several people guessed the correct number and walked away with a baked good after spending just a few dollars.
Nearby, The '60 Boys performed a set of classic tunes, including songs by Ray Charles and the Blues Brothers. The band rocked for the hundreds of people watching from lawn chairs and for those waiting in line for food.