In what would have been its 106th year, St. Rocco Church’s parish festival is amongst the long list of events around the world that has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. While festivalgoers may not get to see the annual greased pole climb competition, patrons can still take home some of the delicious cuisine the festival is known for. In a Facebook post on the festival’s homepage, parish representatives write:
“After long and serious prayer and consultation with officials from the city and the Diocese, as well as listening to many of you, it should not be a surprise that it is not possible to sponsor our annual Labor Day - St. Rocco Festival this year. It would be both imprudent and impractical. With the uncertainty of continued contagion, I personally cannot invite or expect people to come and enjoy themselves at our festival when individuals and families have been severely and adversely impacted by this pandemic.
Our festival, as you are aware, is the premier social gathering of our community each year. It is a homecoming for many and an opportunity to celebrate our amazing parish family, ancestry and Italian heritage. Not being able to come together this year for the festival weighs heavily upon me. With the recent news about the old school building and parish hall being untenable for use, this is a moment in our history for us to refocus, recommit and have new vision for tomorrow and future festivals. We will have a drive-thru with our favorite foods. Here is a list of days and times, we hope to see you all!!”