Great food, music, fellowship, a parade and a chance to win a trip to Ireland or a cash prize of $2,000 await those who come out for the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Hattiesburg’s 17th annual Irish-Italian Festival, set for Saturday, March 17. The ‘Roll N’ Stroll’ parade is at 10:30 a.m. and the festival is from 5-10:30 p.m. at the church, following a 4 p.m. Mass. Admission is free to these events, with tickets for food and drink items available for purchase at the entrance.
Local civic organizations, businesses, bands, church and social groups are welcome to participate with floats and decorated cars, golf carts and other vehicles, marching bands – or walk – in the “Roll N’ Stroll” parade. Entry is free. Lineup for the parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the parking lot next to Hillcrest Residence Hall, located on the service road by the University of Southern Mississippi campus and U.S. Hwy. 49, then begins at 10:30 a.m., proceeding west from the edge of the USM campus toward the church, which is located across from USM’s Reed Green Coliseum. Contact festival coordinator Kim Busche at 601.299.2815 for more information about the parade.
The festival will feature games for kids, a silent auction and an art show featuring the work of some of the Pine Belt’s best local artists, including beautiful work by local schoolchildren. The menu for the event includes Irish stew, spaghetti and meatballs, sausage dogs, pizza, cotton candy, spirits as well as a variety of desserts. Complimentary soft drinks and water will be available.
“Both the parade and festival are wonderful traditions that offer great fun for the whole family,” Busche said. “We welcome everyone from far and wide to join us.”
Tickets for the raffle may be purchased from any member of St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Fabian Catholic Churches, or call St. Thomas Aquinas Church at 601.264.5192. The trip includes airfare, accommodations, food and transportation while in Ireland.
17TH ANNUAL IRISH-ITALIAN FESTIVAL MARCH 17
Roll N’ Stroll Parade: 10:30am
Mass: 4 pm
St. Thomas Aquinas Church