Oktoberfiesta celebration at Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Cold and chilly winds could do little to diminish the enthusiasm of those attending the Oktoberfiesta Observance at Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s new property Saturday. Sacred Heart now owns about 100 acres on Lumen Christi Lane next to Jake Alexander Boulevard, and members were eager to show it off.
This was the 4th annual Oktoberfiesta, but many “firsts” highlighted the day. The new church building is nearing completion in expectation of a dedication service on Dec. 19. Work is running ahead of schedule, so the building was on display. Highlights include completion of the new 28-foot high marble church altar, purchased in about 100 pieces from another Catholic church near South Chicago. A crew from Peoria, Ill., used a crane to reassemble the massive structure. Other projects still taking place include laying mosaic tile in the aisles and installing the stained glass windows from the old building on Fulton Street.
Sacred Heart has more than 3,000 members who use the Oktoberfiesta to bring the church and outside communities together, and to raise funds for capital expenditures and various outreach projects. Oktoberfiesta Chairman Bud Perkins called the special day a “chance for fun, fellowship and new things!” Perkins presided over the two-day event, which began with the Catholic Daughters’ famous Turkey Gumbo on Friday and continued on Saturday with activities that included a wine ring toss, treasure book sale, antiques and crafts, a cash raffle, and the availability of many international foods. Steve Clark, who attended along with his wife, Laura, and sons Blake and Bennett, was impressed. “I was here to work the 5K event, but the church property is impressive and we wanted to check out the celebration,” he said. “Also, I love the chance to try new foods.”
The festival continued until late in the evening with a live band and dance.
Another first was the inaugural Octoberfiesta 5K and Fun Run hosted by the Knights of Columbus and directed by Tom Weber. The 128 5K participants and about 20 fun runners used the cool temperatures to enhance their race times. Twenty-one Sacred Heart members had just completed a training class to run the 5K, and most of them completed the course or were volunteers to work the event. Local runners Robert Miller and Dr. Lyn Pitson were the male and female winners. Miller had a time of 16 minutes and 28 seconds, and was followed by high school runners Cole Honeycutt in 17 minutes 11 seconds and Phillip Tonseth in 17 minutes and 16 seconds. For the females, Dr. Pitson had a top time of 19 minutes and 52 seconds. Sharon Davis was second in 21 minutes and 54 seconds and Meredith Brickworth followed in 22 minutes and 28 seconds. Miller was happy with the course and his effort, having just returned to competitive racing after a recent layoff. He struggled to “find another gear” that comes with hard training, but still pulled away for the comfortable final margin over Honeycutt. New runners Kim Miller and Amy Boger were excited about their efforts. Miller took about 5 minutes off her time from a 5K last week, and Boger ran the whole 5K course without walking for the first time. Complete results can be found online at www.salisburyrowanrunners.com
All ages had plenty to keep them busy. Kids played in the background on several inflatable bounce houses while Father John Putnam and Father James Ebright of Sacred Heart surveyed the event. “This is just a long time dream coming true, and it’s good to see the community here to enjoy it with us,” said Putnam.