Catholic Free Press

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  • Sep
  • 19

Food was a big hit at international festival

Posted By September 19, 2013 | 1:17 pm | Lead Story #2

By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

LEOMINSTER – For a number of years, Holy Trinity Evangelization Center has held an annual festival on the grounds of its Lincoln Terrace property.
The number of attendees has continued to swell, as more people turn out to sample dishes from Latin America and the Caribbean, according to Richard Boudreau, who has helped organize the events.
This year, Holy Trinity’s festival was moved to Union Street, on the grounds of Holy Family of Nazareth Parish.
By midday, Mr. Boudreau estimated several hundred people had turned out on the pleasant, almost-autumn Saturday to hear Spanish-inspired music by Willy and the Trio and to feast on food from about a half dozen countries, including Mexico, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
“Oh, it’s exciting, yes,” said Mr. Boudreau, whose wife, Maraima, was also working behind the scenes helping out.
“The roast pig went really quick,” he added. “It’s been gone for awhile. Probably next year we’ll have to do more.”
A large white tent outside the church held dozens of festival-goers, along with Willy and the Trio members.
Groups of people milled about on the church grounds, chatting with family and friends.
Nilda Rios said she traveled from her home in Boston to attend. Her aunt, Belen Colon, lives in Leominster and attends Mass at Holy Trinity chapel.
“It’s worth a trip, the food is great, the music is good and I get to see my aunt,” said Ms. Rios.
She said she ordered Puerto Rican food as her ethnic roots are on the island.
Ms. Colon was in charge of desserts, and she said they sold quickly.
The event was a fundraiser for Holy Trinity chapel, according to Mr. Boudreau.
Holy Family parishioner Edward Mazierski, who has served as an usher for the past 30 years, said he enjoyed the festivities, despite the fact he works a night shift and was still a bit tired when he arrived at the parish.
He said it’s been “quite a while” since Holy Family had hosted such an event.
Saturday’s festival was only the first leg of the weekend-long International Food Festival, held to mark the parish’s 50th anniversary.
Holy Family used to have an annual festival and, this year, decided to revive the tradition. Saturday featured foods and music from Latin America. Sunday was a chicken barbeque, with dishes designed to reflect a variety of cultures found throughout the region, such as French Canadian and Brazilian.
Pastor Jose A. Rodriguez, who also serves as Holy Trinity chaplain, said, as he looked out on the expanse of property owned by the parish, that it makes sense to host the Holy Trinity festival there, as there’s ample space and plenty of parking.
After the joint festival ended, he remarked upon its success.
“The power of this weekend is that it was two individual communities coming together, with no special agenda, except our faith in God,” he said.
Some of the volunteers, he explained worked both days, as did the key organizers.
Father Rodriguez couldn’t estimate how many people came to his parish over the weekend. But there was one sure sign it was well attended.
“All the food was gone,” he said.