An Invitation from Fr. Jerry

One of the core values that I believe is essential for the growth and well-being of a parish community is to intentionally seek to create a caring, connected community. There are a number of ways that this can occur. Certainly, the Sunday experience has elements of this, especially when there is hospitality.

There are a number of events that the Parish Life commission supports and initiates to help foster a sense of community. From the earliest days of Saint Mary’s, there was the annual parish picnic, the chicken dinners, and for many years the Pork and Corn roast to name a few.

These events not only served as a way to engage Saint Mary parishioners but to include the larger community as well as family and friends. In later years there was Harvest Fest, and this
year we are celebrating our 3rd edition of Country Fest. These events always included a fund raising component to help insure that the parish ministries will have adequate funding.

We have found that moving this event back to summer makes it possible for more families to attend while honoring some of the traditions of the past. I also hope that Country Fest may help to bring families closer together and all for an affordable cost.

Please come join our community for Country Fest on Sunday, Aug. 4 from 1 to 6 pm on St. Mary’s beautiful parish grounds. Let us work together to provide a fun environment and one that our family, friends and fellow parishioners might truly encounter the love of Jesus!

We pray the Lord may bless us with good weather and that a great sense of hospitality and welcome may prevail.

– Fr. Jerry Jacob

Admission is free as are most children’s games and exhibits.

Meal tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children ages10 and under. Meal tickets will be for sale after weekend Masses at St. Mary parish leading up to the Country Fest. They can also be purchased at the parish office in advance or onsite during the event. Separate tickets for drinks, desserts, and raffles can be purchased on-site the day of the event.

Each parish family is asked to sell raffle tickets to family and friends. Sold raffle ticket stubs and money can be turned in to the parish office in advance or brought to the Country Fest.

Calling All Antique Tractor and Farm Equipment Enthusiasts

Country Fest 2019 is thrilled to bring back the antique tractor exhibits presented and displayed through the hospitality of local private collectors. The exhibit pays tribute to St. Mary’s farm community roots while sharing these treasures with the next generation of Lake County residents. Also on display will be a collection of vintage farm equipment from yesteryear to take Fest-goers on a trip down memory lane.

Hay Rides, Silent Auction and Raffle

The event will showcase tractor hay rides around the scenic St. Mary campus. Enjoy a fun, family-friendly ride and soak up our beautiful country setting, touring the historic and legendary parish grounds!
As in the past there will be a silent auction of many tantalizing items for attendees to bid on. Fest-goers will have the opportunity to win Chicago area sporting event ticket packages, gift cards to area restaurants and businesses, and local experiences including a ride for a child to school by a fire engine sponsored by the Mundelein Fire Department.
The fun day will be capped off with the much anticipated Country Fest Raffle Draw. Big cash prizes will be won by some lucky Country Fest visitors!

Come for the food, stay for the fun! A wide range of fun activities for all ages will be held throughout the day. These include: children’s games, face painting, D.J music, bag-o games and some NEW FUN GAMES created and sponsored by our Youth Ministry!

Country Fest 2019 continues the time-honored traditions of the on-site pig roast. The feast will feature locally raised and locally procured pork, roasted on-site by Beelow’s. You won’t want to miss this delicious meal served up with generous helpings of baked beans, potato salad, corn and fresh tomatoes. The traditional Filipino side favorite of  fresh spring rolls will add an international flair to this delicious feast. Desserts from various local merchants will be available for purchase as well as beer from Tighthead Brewing Company, wine, soda, hotdogs, and chips. Come savor these home-style country flavors under the big-top tent while listening to our D.J. mixing up music for all ages.

Did you know that more than a 100 volunteers are needed for Country Fest? You can build new friendships in our parish community by volunteering for a Country Fest shift. Or, bring a friend or two with you to reconnect while lending a hand. Here’s a sampling of what’s needed:
• Set Up on Saturday, Aug. 3
• Set Up and Decorate on Sunday, Aug.4
• Ticket Sellers for Meal and Raffle Tickets
• Food Runners and Servers and Bartenders
• Children’s Games & Face Painting
• Clean up/take down on Sunday, Aug. 4 and Monday, Aug. 5

Sign-up after Mass in the narthex or click the button below to see available volunteer opportunities!

Round up your family, gather your friends, and join us for Country Fest to be held on our beautiful parish grounds. This newly re-imagined pork and corn roast event celebrates and strengthens the bonds of our community while serving as the only major fundraiser supporting the mission and ministries of Saint Mary Parish.

Saint Mary Country Fest harkens back to the days when country living was the mainstay of Lake County and Saint Mary’s tradition of the annual Pork & Corn Roast was a much-anticipated community-wide event for 38 years.

Gary Gunther, long-time chair of the Saint Mary Pork & Corn Roast said, “In its height, the Pork & Corn Roast needed about 400 volunteers to operate – everything from hog procurement and roasting to meal preparation and serving, setup and take down, a large-scale set of games, live bands and even a 5K race for many years.”

As a result of the increasing volunteer demands, the Pork & Corn Roast was held for the last time in 2013. In 2014, a significantly scaled back event, Harvest Fest, was introduced. This simpler version of a parish gathering included a catered pork and corn meal without the on-site pig roasting, organized games or add-on events. This year, the new Country Fest brings back many treasured Pork & Corn Roast components while also making the event manageable for the Saint Mary parish community to host and enjoy.

Seasoned patrons will be happy to note that much of the menu remains the same as in years past. However, by outsourcing the labor-intensive food preparation of hog roasting as well as the preparation of the many side dishes and desserts, the planning and volunteer staffing requirements of the parish have been eased. Nevertheless, approximately 100 volunteers will be needed to make the event a success.

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