Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Faribault has their annual Spirt Fest Family Church Festival this weekend.  The event has been expanded to three days with a dance Friday night at the Faribault American Legion featuring StreetTalk, Soccer Tournament all day Saturday and a day filled with family fun on Sunday.

KDHL AM Minnesota stopped by Divine Mercy Catholic Church this morning to get more details about the family oriented event.  Committee Chair Chris Shaffer-Brown, Open Pit Dinner organizer Mick White, Father Kevin and Father Brandon joined us in the dining area at the church.

Shaffer-Brown is excited about Friday night's dance and says all indications are it should be a success.  There is a $10 cover charge for the event at the Faribault American Legion.  The dance is from 8:00 p.m. to Midnight and tickets will be taken beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday's Soccer Tournament features four teams playing a round robin format representing parishes in the area.  A couple of metro area teams, Divine Mercy of course and an Owatonna team.  The tournament begins at 9:00 a.m. and should wrap up around 3:00 p.m. with the championship played Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Each year Spirit Fest in recent years has featured a competition among the Priests.  The last couple of years they've made cookies and brewed beer.  This year Father Kevin and Father Brandon will be having a dance challenge.  That is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Sunday.  The priests get  to choose their own music and neither had their heart set on a particular style yet or at least they said they were still deciding what kind of music to use.

White is a retired chef and has been serving a meal at the Divine Mercy Catholic Church Festival for a number of years.  The open pit dinners started a few years ago and included chicken and ham prepared over an open pit grill on the church grounds.  White said people requested having mashed potatoes instead of baked so they are going to oblige that request.  Also a dinner roll and vegetable is included along with a dessert.  White said a french chocolate dessert will be part of the meal served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Meals will also be delivered to people if they so desire and to go meals are offered.  I usually get a to go meal and then go home and watch the Viking game.  They will have the Viking game on at the festival also.

There are a lot of activities for the kids including inflatables, various kids games, cake walk, Tractor Pedal Pull, face painting and mini-golf.  There will be a balloon artist on the grounds and music will fill the air throughout the afternoon with The Squeezebox with Mollie B, Ted Lange and Jim Busta performing Noon to 4:00 p.m.

The Mariachi Jalisco provides music from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

There will be Bingo played, a farmer's market offered, beer garden and food trucks also on the grounds serving Mexican and American cuisine.

The Sunday activities begin at 11:00 a.m. following masses at 8:00, 10:00 a.m. and Noon and 5:00 p.m.  The Noon and 5:00 p.m. masses are the traditional ones.  At 10:00 a.m. there will be a Polka Mass and at Noon a Mariachi Mass.

Father Kevin said Spirit Fest is, "All about sharing the spirit of Divine Mercy Catholic Church with the entire community."

Divine Mercy Kitchen Area Wall Hangings. photo by Gordy Kosfeld