“It’s just woven into the fabric of Bismarck’s cultural activities,” said J.P. Moszer, chairman of the 59th Annual St. Mary’s Carnival.
Thousands are expected to make their way through the Friday to Feb. 7 event at St. Mary’s High School, 1025 N. Second St. Bismarck, where they will find plenty of food, games for children and adults, baked goods, used books, entertainment and more.
Midway games run 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday, noon to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 6 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 7.
The carnival is famous for its large meals. “It has been voted ‘Best Church Dinner’ in Bismarck,” Moszer said. The roast pork dinner runs from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The fried chicken dinner goes from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6.
Super Bowl fans have plenty of time to attend the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 7 brunch. It features pancakes, sausage, ham, scrambled eggs and fruit.
Hungry attendees also can opt for the concession stands with tacos, pizzas, hot dogs and brats.
“We have 35 games,” Moszer said. “The National Guard will have a speed pitch booth and a football toss. We’ll have a ‘Plinko’ board like they do on ‘The Price is Right’ ... We’ll have the gold fish pond again.”
A game room for adults will feature pull tabs. Bingo will be offered from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 6 and noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 7.
A kids’ matinee for ages 10 and under runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 6.
New this year is a second live auction. The auctions run 7:45 p.m. Friday and Feb. 6 at the school. A silent auction also is offered. “The business community have been wonderful contributors.” He said the auction has some “buy tonight items.”
Participants may vie for the 2010 Ford Mustang convertible during its raffle. Other items being raffled are a 40-inch HDTV, a lap top computer, Bose Wave sound system, digital camcorder, Apple I-pod and Play Station PSP.
The carnival aims to raise $150,000 for Catholic education for the city’s five parishes.
Moszer said its 1,500 volunteers make the engine which drive the three-day event. Each parish is responsible for recruiting their share
He credits their efforts and a fun itinerary for the event’s success for nearly six decades. Moszer said shuttle buses will run from the west parking lot of the Capitol building to St. Mary’s High School every 15 minutes. The buses are handicapped accessible. Motorists also can park at St. Mary’s High School.
Moszer said many find the fundraiser a great way to break cabin fever and come from beyond Bismarck-Mandan to attend. “ It’s just a super event,” said Moszer. “Even though it’s a Catholic fundraising event, it’s moved past that.
“It’s just one of the events on the calendar. It reunites friends. They can have some friendship and affordable family time.”
(Reach reporter LeAnn Eckroth at 250-8264 or firstname.lastname@example.org)