40th CountryFest fun for the whole family

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Thousands stopped by St. Patrick Catholic Church in Oak Grove Sept. 9-11 for the 40th annual CountryFest celebration.

A 5K race, BBQ ribs, free kids games, musicians, a silent auction and so much more drew people to the church, 19921 Nightingale St. NW.

Events are built around mass, held as usual at 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Fireworks lit up the night sky Sept. 10 in a show grander than usual.

“It’s really a community-builder and a community-awareness thing,” said Dan Jaeger, business administrator at the church. “We want people to know that St. Pat’s is here. We’re about worship, and we’re about our mission, but we’re also about just connecting with people of any faith.”

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From front to back, Elizabeth Schoknecht, Kendra McKay and Izzy Eskuchen take on the water challenge at St. Patrick’s CountryFest Sept. 10. Photos by Olivia Alveshere Sarah Witzig catches floating ducks to earn prizes at St. Patrick’s CountryFest. Clara Walker pulls a sucker to see if she is a winner at CountryFest. Two-year-old Daniel Ohr takes the wheel of an Oak Grove fire truck. Becca Norton reels in some Goldfish outside of St. Patrick Catholic Church Sept. 10. Frank Aguirre, front, and Mark Sauer serve up some roasted corn on the cob. Kirk Denning calls bingo at St. Patrick’s CountryFest Sept. 10. Mark Hurley, with A Touch of Magic, creates balloon accessories for a long line of kids at CountryFest.
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From front to back, Elizabeth Schoknecht, Kendra McKay and Izzy Eskuchen take on the water challenge at St. Patrick’s CountryFest Sept. 10. Photos by Olivia Alveshere