EAST PROVIDENCE — It’s that time of year again. The annual St. Martha’s Church Heritage Days Festival takes place Friday, June 21, through Sunday, June 23. Festivals, picnics, parades and cookouts make good family times and lasting memories.
There is nothing like the St. Martha’s Heritage Fest, which always takes place every year towards the end of the month of June rain or shine. This annual event started back in 1985 and is celebrating its 28th year. There is always good homemade food and new local talent providing entertainment.
Some of St. Martha’s Heritage Day Festival 2013 events have already been announced. The “Family Time” theme returns. There will be a section dedicated to the children with games, prizes and a child’s petting zoo. The petting zoo is scheduled for Sunday, June 23, between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. It will include kittens, chickens, baby goats and a pot belly pig. Face Painting, Needle in the Haystack and Speed Gun Baseball are also on schedule each day for the children.
For those ages 13 and older, St. Martha’s is having something new called “Movie Night.” On Friday, June 21, from 9 to 11 p.m., “Facing the Giants” will be shown and on Saturday, June 22, from 9 to 11 p.m., the movie is “Perfect Game.” On both Saturday and Sunday, St. Martha’s is also introducing a new program called a “Motion Movement Hour.” This will be in the music area when the entertainment takes their break. Come stretch it out and learn some of the newest dance steps. There will be fun for all ages.
While this will be a fun event it will also have a religious aspect. The festival will commence with a “Healing Mass” on Thursday, June 20, at 7 p.m. All those who are elderly or have health issues may receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick at this Mass. On Sunday, June 23, events begin with Mass at noon. After Mass is what has become the Traditional Procession thru the local streets surrounding St. Martha’s Parish. This Spiritual Procession will consist of our Pastor, Father David Green, Parishioners, St. Martha’s Youth Group, and many more and will begin at 1 p.m.
As they proudly process with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and our patroness, St. Martha the people will recite the rosary along the way. This part of the Heritage Day Festival is one of the most important, as it is where we get to reflect on the meaning of Faith, Family, and Friends coming together as one; all of us working together to bring peace, harmony and fulfillment to one another. The procession ends back at the church parking lot where festivities then begin on the midway, where old friends meet and new friends are made.
It would not be Heritage Days at St. Martha’s if the traditional Malassadas weren’t available along with the other good ethnic foods such as Italian sausage and pepper sandwiches, cacoila plates and sandwiches, chowder and clam cakes, just to name a few that are prepared by the St. Martha’s volunteer parishioners.
The live entertainment scheduled under the big tent begins Friday night from 7 to 8 p.m. with a performance from the East Providence Chorus and from 8 to 11 p.m. Tony Medeiros and “Side by Each” will perform. On Saturday beginning at 6 p.m., Martinho and “Speed Limit” with special guest Sandy Berto take the stage. On Sunday afternoon, there is a DJ scheduled and then at 7 p.m. “Rocktail Renditions” will be performing until 10 p.m.
Following the Sunday music, the festival comes to an end but not until the anticipated annual raffle drawing is held. Among the offerings this year are first prize, 42” Vizio flat screen smart TV; second prize, an Olympus Tough digital camera; and third prize, a Keurig “K” Cup coffee maker. Tickets are on sale after masses beginning in June and will be available at the ticket booth on the midway during the Heritage Day Festival.
Also, donated for a special raffle are a hand made quilt and afghan. These are being displayed during the month of June after Masses and tickets for these are being sold then as well. These beautiful prizes are one of a kind and made by the gentle hands of a couple of parishioners of St. Martha’s Church.
Pastor Father David Green and St. Martha’s Youth Group along with the parishioners are doing amazing work to make this year’s event one to remember. If you are new to the parish or new to the area your are welcome to join and to add this annual event to your list of family traditions. If you have been in the East Providence area and have never attended before you don’t know what you are missing. St. Martha’s is always welcoming new families and friends. Come see what fun the parish family has in the heart of East Providence. Mark your calendars and plan on attending “Family Time.”
In these times when life seems to be moving at the speed of light, it is refreshing and relaxing to know that this weekend at St. Martha’s is full of great food, fun, laughs and entertainment for all ages. All families, friends and neighbors of East Providence are encouraged to take some time and visit.