Crystal Lake Parish Hosts Summer Festival
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
August 3, 2018
CRYSTAL LAKE—“A parish without culture, it’s a parish without identity” said Father John Evans, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, during the Kermes festival organized by the parish Hispanic Ministry here on July 29. 
The event lasted more than seven hours, starting with 10 a.m. Mass at the Pierson Street church. 
“We have culture. We have music, food, good people and good fellowship. I’m very happy to be here,” said Father Evans.
“It is a blessing to participate in this festival, in this community that has received us with so much love,” said Matiana Hernández, a parishioner.
Festival-goers selected from a variety of food including heathy mangoes, traditional pambazos (a Mexican sandwich filled with savory chorizo and potatoes), corn, tacos, quesadillas, tamales, empanadas, and other dishes. 
There was entertainment for the whole family, from a tiny train, inflatables and band music to cash raffles up to $1,000. 
This gathering of the community “is a time to all be together, to share, and to raise money to continue improving the church,” said Father William Tunarosa, parochial vicar.
Last year with the money raised by the event they were able to pay for pews, carpet, and new paint at Pierson  Street.
“The aim we have at this point is to continue renewing (that) church,” said Father Tunarosa. 
This year’s improvement plans include replacing the tabernacle there.
Father Tunarosa calculates that more than 1,000 people took part in the festival. 
“Our people worked hard (and) the weather was pleasant,” he said. “We still have some bills to pay related to the event but the balance is positive.”