Fair raises money for local church

By Jessica Bowman – email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The St. Rose De Lima church in Bay St. Louis held its 84th annual fair over the weekend. Hundreds came out to enjoy the local cooking and help support the parish.

Gumbo with an old family roux recipe was cooked to perfection, as St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church members gathered around the big screen cheering on the Who Dat nation.

Charles Johnson said, "We're making a pot of chicken gumbo. It's really a pot of everything, because everything we had we put in it. We have shrimp and sausage. We just got everything in it."

As smoke rolled from the smokers, Church member Charles Johnson remembered when he first began helping contribute to his fellow brothers and sisters when he was just a teen.

"I've been coming to the fair since I was first in the world and I'm 60 years old," said Johnson.

Money was raised to help the church's needs. Craft booths, a child's bounce park and of course a taste of local flavor was served up for the cause.

Diana Fillhart said, "Fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, we have catfish, we have chicken nuggets, we have barbeque ribs and fried chicken. Each year the fair goes to support the things that the parish needs. Helps support the education fund the insurance and all that kind of stuff."

After coming to the coast from New York as a volunteer after Katrina, Fair Chairman Diana Fillhart, has placed this parish in her heart making Bay St. Louis and St. Rose de Lima her new home.

"I look at this as an opportunity to continue to reach and impact the community after Katrina," said Fillhart.

Members said this is a joyous time of fellowship.

"Just seeing people have a good time. You know, that's what it's all about," said Johnson.

100% of the proceeds from the food vendors will go to the church.

The fair was held Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Organizers said more than 500 people attended the event.

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