PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio — Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Check out the 16th annual St. John Bosco International Festival, which is back in full swing after a one-year pandemic-imposed hiatus.
The event takes place Thursday through Sunday (Aug. 12-15) on the parish grounds, 6480 Pearl Road, Parma Heights. Festival hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
The casino will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, and Ace Molar will perform from 7 to 9:30 that night.
Casino hours are 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, with Cavalieri Reale performing from 7:30 to 10 that night. Fireworks by Lite the Nite Pyrotechnics, sponsored by KPM Ltd., will take place at dusk.
The casino will be open from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, with The Soul Men — a Blues Brothers tribute band — performing from 7 to 10 p.m.
The schedule for the final day of the festival, Sunday, includes casino hours from noon to 8 p.m., New Barleycorn performing from 2 to 5 p.m. and TWIST! performing from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The main drawing for the grand raffle prize will be at 9 p.m. There will be a bake sale featuring international bakery beginning at 5 p.m. and lasting until everything sells out.
There will be music, food, a casino and bingo each day of the festival. There also will be a cornhole tournament each day. Games will be played at the front entrance of the church and in the grassy area between the entrance and exit driveway. In case of rain, the games will move to the gym at the back of the school building.
Cost for cornhole is $50 per team. There will be cash prizes. For more information, call 216-633-2067. All players must have an American Cornhole League profile. Register for a profile at iplayacl.com.
The Rev. Matthew Byrne, who was installed recently as St. John Bosco pastor, said he’s excited about the festival, his first as pastor. He learned in the winter of 2020 that he had been assigned to the parish, but the pandemic hit soon after and parish activities were suspended.
“We’re overdue for a great party,” he told parishioners, “so plan on coming out and enjoying the revelry.”
Food Truck Night: The Independence Historical Society will host the final Food Truck Night of the season from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Historic Hall, 6675 Brecksville Road, Independence. Off the Griddle food truck will be on hand to serve a variety of tacos, flatbreads and salads for purchase.
Hometown honor: Congratulations to Mitch O’Hara, who was named the Seven Hills Hall of Fame Resident of the Month for August.
He and his fiancée, Georgia Kostyack, moved into her grandfather’s house in 2017. He said they enjoy walking throughout the city with their dogs.
O’Hara serves on the Seven Hills Parks Committee. Previously, he worked for the city’s Parks Department through the Recreation Center.
A graduate of St. Edward High School, O’Hara was a member of two Eagles state championship football teams. He played inside linebacker and was a two-time team captain. He also was a member of the National Honor Society.
He graduated magna cum laude in May from the University of Mount Union, where he also played football. O’Hara earned a degree in exercise science, with a triple minor in neuroscience, biology and chemistry. He was a member of several academic clubs and served as a science tutor.
While at Mount Union, his accomplishments included starting in all 15 games as a freshman, winning a national championship, team leader in tackles, national champion runner-up, Academic All-Conference, Second Team Academic All-Conference, football team captain, Clyde Lamb Award winner and Academic All American.
O’Hara is doing medical research at Northeast Ohio Medical University and plans to attend medical school.
“Being a part of the Seven Hills community has been great so far, and Georgia and I cannot wait to raise our family in this wonderful city after our marriage in October,” he said.
Eagle project: Stearns Homestead is the beneficiary of a project under way by Wyatt Snyder, a local Boy Scout who chose the homestead as the site for his Eagle Scout project.
Wyatt has been busy installing fence posts and placing rails and will install a gate soon as part of a project to divide the alpaca pasture.
Wyatt is a member of BSA Troop 652 in Brecksville.
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