St. Mary’s Festival returns

By Nikki Blankenship - [email protected]

The festival that has become a tradition for many area families is returning. The St. Mary’s International Festival has been an ongoing end of summer celebration for more than 40 years, said Rick Estep, event chairman.

The St. Mary’s International Festival, which is held the third weekend in September every year, will take place Sept. 15, 16 and 17.

Festivities will start at 5:30 p.m., on Friday evening.

“We won’t have all the food booths set up that night,” Estep stated.

He added that previous volunteers would spend Friday setting up, but they decided since they would all be there anyway, they might as well have some fun. So, Friday offers a preview of the international foods the festival has come to be known for. Food is served with entertainment. This year’s opening night will feature local singer Josh Stewart and the Shane Runyon Band.

Guests can enjoy ribs and chicken from the Ribber, brats and kraut, select street fair foods such as hot dogs, pizza and hamburgers, drinks and dessert booths and a biergarten with beer supplied by Portsmouth Brewing Co.

Saturday and Sunday will include all food booths, highlighting foods from India, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, parts of Asian and America. More than 200 cars are expected to roll in for Saturday’s antique and custom car show. There will also be kids games, inflatables, a silent auction, crafts, a quilt show and a quilt raffle.

Saturday’s entertainment will include the Don’t Know Jack Band, Riverside Acoustic and Frank Grasso. Sunday’s entertainment will include Gary Billups & The Music Department.

The event will also give out $3,000 in raffle prize winnings as well as a “treasure chest of goodies,” valued at more than $1,000.

Estep explained that he was thankful for the support from the community and local sponsors.

“We have tremendous sponsors that help us do this every year,” he stated. “We have the support of our church members and community.”

Estep added that the event continues to grow each year as more and more people come out to enjoy the weekend.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun,” he concluded.

The St. Mary’s International Festival is held in downtown Portsmouth near St. Mary’s Church on Fifth and Market streets.

By Nikki Blankenship

[email protected]

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.