For 26 years, Seton Parish has been inviting the Pickerington-area community to its biggest party of the year.

For 26 years, Seton Parish has been inviting the Pickerington-area community to its biggest party of the year.

And, organizers say, if the midway rides, carnival games, free entertainment and games of chance aren't enough, come for the food.

This year's Seton Parish Festival is scheduled for Sept. 5-7 at the church grounds, 600 N. Hill Road.

"It's the food," church music director and festival entertainment chairwoman Pandora Porcase said. "That's all I can say."

Porcase said an "army of cooks" will be on hand to prepare thousands of cabbage rolls. In addition, members of the parish are baking cakes, cookies, breads and pies by the dozen.

The event, which typically draws 3,000 to 5,000 people over the course of the weekend, is the church's biggest fundraiser of the year. Typically, Porcase said, it raises about $30,000.

New this year is an appearance by The Zambian Vocal Music from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

The group is touring the U.S. and the world to raise money to build a community center in Chainda, Lusaka, Zambia, from which AIDS education and counseling, basic education for children, education in child care and child development, technical training and education in personal hygiene can be provided.

"They have a mission," Porcase said. "It was just something I was drawn to do."

Other featured entertainment at the festival includes:

A tribute to Neil Diamond by local performers David Joseph and Kenny Wayne, Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

A performance at 3 p.m. Saturday by cover band Death Ray to Sunday Project, whose members range in age from 8 to 18. They perform songs from artists such as the Beastie Boys, Flaming Lips and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Presentations Sunday at 1 p.m. by the Pickerington High School North theatre department and at 2 p.m. by the Pickerington Dance Academy.

The festival also includes a silent auction and, organizers say, one of central Ohio's largest flea markets. The flea market starts Friday and, Porcase said, customers are typically lined up waiting for the opening.

Also, the church is again holding a raffle with a grand prize of $10,000. Tickets can be purchased right up until the drawing at 5 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $10 per ticket or 12 for $100.

Festival hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Sept. 5; 2 to 11 p.m. Sept. 6; and noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 7. More information is available from the parish 833-0482.