Held on 9 and 10 January, the St. Mary's Parish Festival 2014 commenced with a grand parade around the church compound, complete with stilt walkers, flame throwers, colourful costumes etc. which set the tone for the fun, frolic and festivities that were to follow. Our Parish Priest, Fr. Tomasito Veneracion, OFM Cap welcomed all gathered, thanking all our sponsors, benefactors and well-wishers who made it possible to put this event together and invited everyone to partake of the festivities.
The Festival was a stupendous success, bringing together people of various nationalities. One of the aims of the Parish Festival is to provide a platform for the various cultures, communities, traditions and most importantly for the families of the parish to come together and celebrate the gift of unity and love and this year saw a huge increase in numbers, with a spectacular line-up of events drawn from the amazing talent of our parishioners.
The spirit of bonhomie and camaraderie was very much evident as parishioners participated in the fun fair with games and activities designed to suit all ages. A big attraction was the soap football, the x-box stall and the karaoke counters. The ever popular rodeo bull attracted huge crowds. Popular with the young ones was the puppet and midget show. The Redemption Counter proved an endless source of delight with prizes to reward all age groups.
Culinary appeal came in the form of nine food stalls catering to the taste buds of the various nationalities with parishioners enjoying the opportunity of sampling foods of other cultures.
The Entertainment provided by the talented pool of parishioners added to the allure of the evening with parishioners riveted to the spot spell bound by the back to back performances ' where all age groups participated 'grandparents, grandchildren included. Day 1 saw a pool of the singing talent of our parishioners titled 'Singing with the Stars' and Day 2 was a dance extravaganza, 'Dancing with the Legends'. The Children's Entertainment on Friday morning had the youngsters enraptured with the Magic Show and other activities that were planned for them. Emcees Karen Date on Day 1 and Errol Goveas on Day 2 kept the audiences entertained throughout the festivities.
The appearance of international singing star Jamie Rivera on Thursday and the Consul General of the Philippines, Frank Cimafranca on Friday added to the appeal of the two day festivities.
A team of dedicated volunteers drawn from among the parishioners, with a strong presence by the youth helped to put together the entire event which also aided the cause of generating funds to help the poor and needy of our parish. Organizing an event of this magnitude is not an easy task and would not have been possible without the financial support and encouragement given by our sponsors, donors and well-wishers to whom we are extremely indebted. Please click on the sponsor logos to access their respective websites.
We are also grateful to our benefactors UAE Exchange, GAC, GECO, St. Vincent Palotti College of Engineering and Technology, De Paul International School, C. Cretors General Trading, Dubai Dolphinarium, Choithrams, i-Care, Puruvankara Real Estate, Our Town Developers, Roche, Optic Illusions, Bebelac, Leminar, International Modern Hospital, Fast Forward and numerous well-wishers who contributed to make this event people will remember in the months ahead.