One of central Ohio's largest church-sponsored festivals has made a lasting impact as an event that focuses on food, friends, family and fun.

This year marks the 28th year the Seton Parish Festival has served the community by providing an opportunity to enjoy food, games of chance, live music, amusement rides and more. Folks might even find a treasure or two.

The three-day festival runs from Sept. 15 through 17 on the grounds of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 600 Hill Road North, Pickerington. Admission to the festival is free and credit cards will be accepted for purchases.

Back this year after a one-year hiatus is the flea market, which is expected to be one of the biggest ever, said Renee Barger, a festival volunteer.

"We didn't have it last year because of (church) renovations. We will have a lot of artwork and indoor/outdoor items," Barger said.

"We have kitchen glasses, a snowblower and even an electric piano."

She said what doesn't sell at the event will still find its way to those in need.

"Nothing is thrown away," Barger said.

"We have charities that come pick it up like Habitat for Humanity and the Bishop Griffin Center. We're always helping somebody," she said.

Patti Criminski, who is in charge of the silent auction, said the gift baskets that people bid on are a big draw.

"There are a lot of collector items, (seasonal) baskets and sports memorabilia from the local teams that have autographs," she said.

Criminski said what makes the Seton Parish Festival unique is that there really is something for everyone.

"It's just a really good festival," she said. "We get a lot of people that come out.

"The food is very good, there are rides, games and having the flea market back is a big deal," Criminski said.

Other activities include the Knights of Columbus Car Show (Sept. 17), blackjack, poker, Texas Hold'em, amusement rides and midway games.

The popular food items include smoked pulled pork, classic Bavarian cabbage rolls as well as the sweet Italian sausage and traditional favorites like sloppy joes and grilled bratwurst.

The music lineup on the festival's main stage includes Parrots of the Caribbean at 8 p.m. Sept. 15 and the Reagonomics at 8 p.m. Sept. 16.

Barger said people who still want to donate used items for the flea market can drop off items at Seton Parish.

She said all the money raised goes back into Seton Parish to help pay for improvements and for its many outreach programs.

Barger said the community really supports the festival.

"I think the Seton Parish Festival gets a little bit bigger every year," she said.

"It is definitely one of the biggest festivals in Pickerington," she said, adding that volunteers help make it so.

"We've got a really good group of people to make it successful."

Those wishing to drop off items for the Flea Market or new items and gift cards for the Bid'n'Buy silent auction can do so at the Parish office during regular office hours.

Games include basketball shooting contests, bingo and speedball. Amusement rides include a bouncy house , fun slide, Gravitron, Airplanes and the Kiddy Merry-Go-Round.

"(Organizers) made sure the (rides) were inspected," Barger said. "They had meetings to make sure everything is ready to go and safe."

A beer tent is also on-site for those who would like to watch the Ohio State University vs. Army football game slated for 4:30 p.m. Sept. 16.

"We like to say the festival is 'beer, bingo and bands' but it is so much more," Barger said.

For details about the Seton Parish Festival, visit the website: setonparishfestival.com.

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