NORTH ROYALTON – At St. Albert the Great, everyone is family.
They rejoice in this each year with a massive picnic, not just for church members but the entire community.
This will be their ruby jubilee celebration, the 40th annual picnic hosted 1:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 10, and is expected to be quite the party with something for everyone. St. Albert’s is located at 6667 Wallings Road.
Of course great food and drink is always the focal point of any picnic, and this is no exception. Church members will be grilling up hotdogs and hamburgers. There will be gyros, walking tacos, kettle corn, soft pretzels, ice cream. The 3 Spot, Fire Truck Pizza Co. and Romano’s Farmers Market will each be serving up their favorites as well. Wash down all those delicacies with margaritas, wine and a craft brewed beer tasting.
Have your sights set on winning? There will be cash prizes with nine chances to win – first place lands $3,000, second $1,500, third $1,000, fourth $750, fifth $500, sixth through ninth place each $250. A basket raffle will also be done and an Indians tickets/Mohican Cabin raffle. Raffle tickets will be $5 each or a book of 12 for $50 for the cash raffle.
Those with a competitive streak can try their hand at ping pong, air hockey, foosball and new gym games.
The entertainment lineup includes a performance by the North Royalton Dance Academy from 1:30-2 p.m.; Jungle Terry’s exotic pet show from 2-3 p.m.; Dennis Samson & Nightbreeze from 2-5 p.m.; Leneghans Irish Dancers from 5-6 p.m.; WIXY 1260 from 6-8:30 p.m.; and a DJ playing tunes in front of the school.
Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw attends St. Albert’s and has been enjoying the annual church picnic since he was a kid. Now he looks forward to sharing the tradition with his own family.
“It’s a fun way for the parish and even the community to come celebrate the summer with great food, music and fellowship. As I have gotten older, I’m excited that my own family and my son can enjoy this wonderful annual church event,” he said.
It is always a success, Langshaw said, because of the hard work countless volunteers put in, mentioning fellow parishioner and councilman Ward 4 Councilman Paul Marnecheck, as an example, who will be a grill master flipping burgers and dogs.
Rev. Edward Estok said the picnic truly is meant as a community event to be shared by all.
“The parish picnic is a family event, a parish event and a North Royalton event. Everyone is invited and able to enjoy friendship on our beautiful campus, with great friends, neighbors, music, food and fun,” he said. “The parish picnic, like our Parish Service Day and our great parish school, gives us as Catholics one more important way to experience what we celebrate at Sunday Mass. We are members of a living Christ in this neighborhood who, together, ‘go to God.’ At mass we call it communion. I see the picnic as a social and fun celebration of who we are as the household of God: communion!”