St. Joseph Church Plans 84th Annual 4th of July Celebration

From staff reports

St. Joseph Parish will host its 84th Annual 4th of July Celebration on July 4 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the Parish grounds in Lucinda. The festival, which is Clarion County’s oldest Independence Day event, has also scheduled two pre-festival kick-off events again this year: St. Joseph’s Liberty 5K Run/Walk will be held on July 1 at 8 a.m. at the historic Lucinda Train Station, and a handmade quilt auction and sale will take place June 15 through July 2.

Festivities scheduled on July 4th include:

– Traditional all-you-can-eat Chicken & Ham dinners, featuring homemade pie & soup with their famous homemade noodles. Dining room serving 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; take-outs will be available 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Dinner ticket sales open at 10 a.m. Dinner prices are Adults: $13.00 Children 6 -12: $6 Children under 6: Free.

– Grounds open at 11 a.m. featuring games of skill and chance for all ages, a concessions stand, extensive Chinese Auction and children’s features. A cornerstone feature is the handmade quilts slated to be awarded throughout the day at the quilt tent, quilt raffle and Rosary Society booth. This is in addition to those featured in the online auction.

– Musicians will provide live entertainment beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing into the afternoon hours.

– Called-number games begin at 11:30 a.m. in the lower level of the social hall and will continue throughout the afternoon. Four special games with larger prizes will be held at 12 noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

– Grand Prize drawing, featuring a $5,000 cash prize, gift certificates, pop-up theater system, and other major cash awards is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Visitors from around the region and across the state are expected to head to the parish grounds to celebrate the holiday in anticipation of the customary dinner, games, prizes and entertainment – all for the express purpose of supporting St. Joseph Catholic School.

As they’ve done for over eighty years, members of the St. Joseph Rosary Society are the chief organizers of the all-you-can-eat dinner and have been preparing to welcome patrons with their traditional Independence Day feast. The home-cooked meal includes the chicken and ham entrée, a bowl of the Parish’s signature noodle soup, hand-mashed potatoes/gravy, coleslaw, vegetable, bread, beverage, and a slice of homemade pie for dessert.

The Society makes several hundred pounds of the made-from-scratch noodles for the soup each year and prepares approximately 500 pounds of ham, 240 heads of cabbage and 800 pounds of potatoes.

Tally that with a few hundred chickens and pies and it all adds up to over a ton of hunger-chasing food. Visitors can opt to eat in the social hall dining room or purchase take-out dinners to eat on sheltered picnic tables which can seat 150 to 200 people. For lighter fare, a concession stand will also be available featuring beverages, hot dogs and hamburgers.

Another major attraction is the quilts. Handcrafted by the women of St. Joseph’s, visitors surround the tent for their chance to win one of these beautiful handmade pieces. Work on the quilts began in the fall and continued into the spring culminating in an exceptional variety of cross-stitched, pieced and appliquéd treasures. Depending on size and design, each quilt averages 100 to 200 hours to complete and holds an estimated retail value of between $750 and $950. Over a dozen quilts will be offered this year with a limited number available for auction and direct purchase during the pre-festival online auction and sale, and two will be awarded in separate drawings. A preview of the quilts is available at

Entertainment details are being finalized and will feature performers from the surrounding area.

Games of skill and chance, a variety of booths and a Chinese Auction round out the celebration, and the festival will conclude with the Grand Prize drawing at 4 p.m. Altogether, over $40,000 in cash and prizes is to be awarded throughout the day.

Proceeds from all festival activities help defray the operational costs of St. Joseph Catholic School, one of the oldest Catholic schools in the Erie Diocese. Quality educational programs are provided to children enrolled in Pre-K through sixth grade.

The celebration will be held rain or shine on the canopy-covered parish grounds. The children’s playground is adjacent to the festivities and St. Joseph Church, erected in 1893, will be open to visitors. The parish complex is located at 112 Rectory Lane along Rt. 66 in Lucinda (I-80 Exit 60, Rt. 66 north 10 miles) and is a short drive from Cook Forest State Park. The grounds are handicap accessible. Parking areas surround the grounds and a parking shuttle will be available. Reserved parking spaces will be available for those who cannot attend the festival but want to purchase a carry-out dinner. For more information visit, Facebook @stjoseph4thofjuly or call (814) 226-7288.

Registration for the Liberty 5K Run/Walk begins at 7 a.m. on July 1 at the restored train station. Now in its 9th year, the race will start nearby at 8 am on the Rail 66 Country Trail. The non-motorized 4-season trail currently stretches 13 miles through the scenic countryside of northern Clarion County on the historic Knox-Kane railroad bed and has been paved.

The run will be held rain or shine and entertainment will be provided by Absolute Clarion DJ Services.

The Lucinda Train Station is located at 1040 Lander Drive in Lucinda and can be accessed via Maple Drive, which is the first left immediately following St. Joseph Church on Rt. 66 N. Pre-registration is encouraged and entries postmarked by June 17 guarantee a T-shirt. Forms are available at, Facebook @StJoesLiberty5K, or by calling (814) 226-7288. Proceeds benefit St. Joseph School.

Prize tickets will also be available June 15 through July 2 in conjunction with the quilt auction. Visit to select tickets, purchase a quilt or place a bid.