Shepherdsville parish rallies around festival

Kaci Hoskins, right, painted a design on Olivia Price’s face at the St. Aloysius fall festival. The Shepherdsville parish held its first ‘cruise night’ featuring classic cars and family-friendly activities. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

Kaci Hoskins, right, painted a design on Olivia Price’s face at the St. Aloysius fall festival. The Shepherdsville parish held its first ‘cruise night’ featuring classic cars and family-friendly activities. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

St. Aloysius Church in Shepherdsville, Ky., hosted a “Blastin’ Down Plum Street Cruise Night” Oct. 5 featuring classic cars and family-friendly activities.

The idea behind the parish festival was to close Plum Street for a lineup of classics cars. But Mother Nature had other plans.

Though the day’s steady downpours kept many cars and festival-goers away, Deacon Ted Luckett said he was proud of the way the parish came together.

“I think anytime you can bring a parish together it’s a good thing. Even in the duress of the rain, everyone worked together and got along. I think that’s important,” he said in a telephone interview Monday.

Deacon Luckett said it’s been the goal of the parish for some time to reach out more to the community. He said since the parish school closed in 2012 St. Aloysius parish has struggled with its identity.

“This is a way for the parish to rally around something, to get involved again,” he said in an interview last week.

Parishioners donated many of the items needed for the day, including some of the food for the menu, trash bags and soft drinks.

The sound of the pounding rain and claps of thunder could be heard in the gymnasium where a number of booths featured food and games. There was a baked goods table, a face-painting booth and a silent auction.

Deacon Luckett noted that a integral part of the fall festival was the parish’s newly-formed women’s club.

Judy Crigler, one of the organizers of the club, said she hopes the women’s club can bring a sense of fellowship among parishioners again.

“When the school was here the activities centered around the school ministry,” she noted. “Now that the school is not here we’ve formed a women’s club to bring people together, to be involved and to help the parish.”

Crigler and the women’s club organized the baked sale, the silent auction and the activities for children. The Abbey of Gethsemane donated several items for the silent auction.

Some activities, such as the casino games, pull tabs, bounce houses and karaoke were hampered because of the weather.

However, food orders, including chili, brats and fish sandwiches, were steady throughout the evening, Deacon Luckett said.

Sharon Burden of Taylorsville, Ky., dried her 1937 Ford Coupe following one of the day's downpours.

Sharon Burden of Taylorsville, Ky., dried her 1937 Ford Coupe following one of the day’s downpours.

Deacon Luckett said that despite the disappointing weather, he still considers the fall festival a positive experience because it brought the parish together.

Depp Rasner, a lifelong member of St. Aloysius, proposed the idea for a cruise night in hopes of reaching out to the community.

“This cruise night is an effort to reach out to the community, to let them know St. A is alive and well,” Rasner said in a phone interview last week.

One way the parish has become more involved in the community is by renting its gym space to local schools and organizations, Rasner said. A youth volleyball league will use the space this fall, and the YMCA has contracted the gym for the spring.

Herschel and Sharon Burden of Taylorsville, Ky., said the rain didn’t put a damper on their experience at the cruise night. The couple, who brought their restored 1937 Ford Coupe, said they enjoyed meeting other classic car enthusiasts and would return if St. Aloysius hosted another “cruise night.”

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