will offer food, fellowship and fun at its 36th annual festival starting this Friday, June 24.
Festival chairperson Maxine Gallagher noted the church’s attempts to make this year’s festival more accessible to all ages.
“It’s always a family-centered, community type of an event, but we really tried to plan some events that were really geared to younger families and kids,” said Gallagher. She mentioned the children’s’ party Saturday night, an activity introduced last year to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the festival. The party includes games and prizes for all participants.
“It’s a nice break for the parents…[the children] are safe and they have a nice place to be. The parents can go out and have dinner, or drink, or dance or whatever they want to do,” said Gallagher.
Gallagher also promoted the value of the event for older children.
“It’s really a great outreach for the teenagers in the parish. Our religious education kids volunteer. We’ve got about 25 of them signed up to run the games,” said Gallagher.
This year’s festival also features a performance by hypnotist and "comedy magician" Peter J. Mamos. The New Hampshire-based stage hypnotist, who’s been entertaining crowds with the mental arts since 1991, has performed thousands of shows across the country, according to his official Web site.
“He’s definitely family-rated,” says Gallagher. “He’ll probably make some people quack like ducks, and things like that.”
, says Gallagher, recently held a contest for one family pack of tickets to the performance.
Friday and Saturday night will both feature live music, too. The Red Shoes Band performs Friday night, whereas Boston Party Makers will DJ under the tent on Saturday.
“We’re hoping that [the DJ] will make it into a big party and get everybody out there dancing and having a good time,” says Gallgher.
The festival ends on a more formal note, with a procession and Mass at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
“This is a festival to celebrate the feast of our patron saint, St. Barnabas,” says Gallagher. “So, on Sunday we have a procession.”
Additionally, Sunday includes a live auction with 102 items. Among the available prizes are a deluxe one-night stay at 41 North in Newport, Red Sox tickets, a basket of merchandise from Bristol merchants and a wine tasting at .