Nativity’s Novemberfest Celebrates 44th Year

By Nicole Schoen

Nativity Catholic Church began Novemberfest 44 years ago and it has grown into a tradition that many people in the community enjoy and continue to return to every year.

“Novemberfest began as a fundraiser for Nativity Catholic School,” said director of stewardship and advancement for Nativity Catholic School, Tina Sullivan. “It has become one of the largest family-friendly community events in the greater Brandon area. The festival annually attracts over 100,000 people in attendance.”

The festival takes place on Nativity’s property located at 705 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. They transform the church grounds into a carnival-like festival with plenty of rides and games for children of all ages from the Ferris wheel to the Gravitron.

“The event has become a great food and entertainment event in the community as well,” said Sullivan.

Near the center of the festival is a huge white tent with a wide variety of food and drink items for sale from local restaurants as well as all the  food stands scattered around. There is also a beer tent that serves cold beer and wine for adults while they play sports on a few TV screens.

Under that same tent is a stage where local entertainment is provided, including live music, dancing and singing each day of the festival.  This year, patrons can expect performances from 4Heart Harmony, Judy’s Dance Academy, Earl Harris Karate and more. New this year is a performance by Salsa band Los D’Aqui on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. There are also raffle drawings every hour for prizes from local retailers and companies.

The fair is made possible by hard work from volunteers totaling around 9,000 hours of service each year.  Sullivan mentioned Novemberfest annually raising over $150,000 with all proceeds going to the school and faith programs for the youth at Nativity.

There is no charge for parking or admission to the carnival. Patrons can purchase ride armbands and food ticket sheets in advance for a discounted price until November 6 at http://novemberfest2013.eventbrite.com/. Novemberfest will begin Thursday, November 7 from 4 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. and will continue Friday, November 8 from 4 p.m.–midnight, Saturday, November 9 from noon to midnight, Sunday, November 10 from noon-10:00 p.m. and will wrap up on Monday, November 11 Veteran’s Day from 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Michele Montanez at november vestvolun teers@yahoo.com. For more information about Novemberfest, visit face book.com/NativityNovemberfest or call the church at 681-4608.