St. Patrick Church has plenty of reasons to celebrate the year, with one of those being the 50th anniversary of the parish’s annual Mexican Fiesta.

Sandra Becerra-Ortega, fiesta chairperson and a lifelong member of the parish, said her family has been involved with the fiesta since very early on.

“Ever since I was little, if not before, probably. I had one uncle, Leo Becerra, who is passed away now, but he had very big ambitions for the fiesta,” Becerra-Ortega said. “He did everything you could imagine as far as making games and building them to sending us kids out to get donations for stuff. Anything that we could do to help the church was always something that he was very involved in every year.”

Following the merger of the Holy Rosary and St. Patrick churches in 1960, the blended Irish and Mexican congregation decided a fiesta would be a way to raise funds for the growing parish.

“My family came over here and it was quite different for both groups, but once everybody started getting involved with the fiesta, there was a suggestion to do the fundraiser and help raise money for the church,” Becerra-Ortega said. “Everything started getting bigger and better year by the year.”

The fiesta features a pageant, traditional dances, a mariachi band, food and games for all ages.

“We’ve had so much more participation this year, as in everybody helping, so I felt like it’s going to be a great event that anybody can come out and enjoy,” Bercerra-Ortega said.

This year also commemorates the parish’s 150th anniversary.

“This year is a really great opportunity for us to grow in our community, love for God and gratitude for all the gifts and blessings that he has bestowed upon our community and upon this parish,” the Rev. Jonathan Davis, associate pastor at St. Patrick Church said. “This is the 50th anniversary of the Mexican Fiesta here at St. Patrick and in St. Joseph also the 150th anniversary of the founding of our parish.”

The 50th Mexican Fiesta will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at the Knights of Columbus hall and 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, in the St. Patrick Church parking lot from

For more information and tickets, go online to stpatrickstj.org or call the parish office at 816-279-2594.

Abby Trapp can be reached

at abby.trapp@newspressnow.com

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