Rides, games and great entertainment are all on the lineup this week as St. Joseph Parish hosts its 15th annual carnival to raise money for the church.


    Rides, games and great entertainment are all on the lineup this week as St. Joseph Parish hosts its 15th annual carnival to raise money for the church.
    The parish will kick off the longstanding carnival Tuesday, July 20 , and it will continue to run each night until Saturday, July 24.
    Jake Vukich, who has been on the carnival committee for at least 10 years, said the carnival is a great way to bring parishioners and the entire community together.
    “It’s a nice summertime diversion for a lot of folks,” he said. “We’re bringing the carnival atmosphere to Middletown.”
    Vukich said the carnival is open to people of all ages, and there’s something for everyone in the family to do.
    “Whether it’s rides and games for the kids or great food for the older folks, we really try to make it a family-oriented event every year,” he said.
    Vukich said unlike most carnivals, this one always includes a children’s game area for kids ages 2 to 6, where everyone is a winner.
     He said those coming for the food won’t be disappointed.
    Home-style cooking from the indoor kitchen will be available starting at 5:30 each night. Guests can enjoy steamed shrimp and roast beef Tuesday, July 20, Italian fare Wednesday, July 21, traditional polish foods Thursday, July 22, Cajan and roast turkey Friday, July 23 and a Mexican-themed entrée Saturday, July 24. Dinner costs $12 for adults and $6 for children. An outdoor grille, which will serve snacks like hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken fingers, French fries, Italian sausage and crab cake sandwiches will open at 6:30 p.m.
     Each night, a live band will take the stage to entertain audiences while jugglers, clowns and balloon twisters will be on the grounds to entertain the kids.
    “One of the things I enjoy most about this event is meeting some really neat people,” said Dominic Marra, who has been on the carnival committee since its inception. “It’s something a little different and homegrown.”
    Marra said aside from a cash raffle Saturday, raffle baskets will be given away each night. Tickets are $5 each or $20 for five. The parish will raffle off a basket of cheer worth $200 Tuesday, an up-your-budget basket worth $250 Wednesday, restaurant gift card basket worth $400 Thursday, an entertainment basket worth $600 Friday and a vacation basket, which contains travel vouchers and luggage, worth $2,000 Saturday.
    Vukich said funds raised from the carnival will go toward the parish’s upkeep and social outreach programs, and there is no specific goal set.
    “We just try to make as much as we can for the parish,” he said. “We mainly want a good event for the community that brings our parishioners together.”