Maricopa’s ‘premier winter event’ kicks off today


Aiming to provide Maricopa with some good old-fashioned fun while raising money for a future church campus, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, kicks off its 4th Annual Parish Festival today.

“This is our chance to give back to the community,” said Patti Coutre, one of the event’s organizers.

Last year the church held a similar festival, which was attended by more than 10,000 people and raised nearly $60,000 toward the construction of a $2.6 million church campus.

To date, the church has collected $830,000 of the $1.8 million pledged for church facilities. It has also received a 34-acre land donation from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson. The land, located in the Glennwilde Groves subdivision, eventually will be home to a 500-seat church, an administration building and a K-8 school.

Opening ceremonies for the free three-day festival are scheduled for 4 p.m. today, and this year’s carnival promises to be bigger and better than ever, featuring more rides, food and events than in years past.

“We are going all out to have a great festival,” Coutre said.

Sun Valley Rides, LLC will provide a midway, including several large rides, carnival games and kiddy rides.

There is no charge to attend the event, and the parish is pre-selling passes good for unlimited rides on for $15 per day until noon today. The passes are available at the church office. During the festival, day-long ride passes will cost $25 per person at the door. Individual ride tickets will also be available for purchase.

Fifty gift baskets and cash prizes will be raffled off during the weekend and there will be a wide variety of booths selling food ranging from gorditas to hamburgers.

“We have something for everyone,” Coutre said.

Festival entertainment will include a talent show, dancing exhibitions and live music. Bands performing include classic rock cover band Battery Sandwich, Christian band Kings and Priests, R&B singer Seph, and Buddy Holly tribute band, Come Back Buddy.

“This is Maricopa’s premier winter event,” Coutre said.  “We hope everyone in the community comes out.”

If you go

What: Our Lady of Grace 4th Annual Festival and Carnival
Where:  45295 W. Honeycutt Ave. (across from Maricopa High School)
When:  This weekend:
• Friday: 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
• Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
• Sunday: 12 – 9 p.m.
Cost: Free admission; all-day ride passes $15 per person prior to the festival, $25 at the door