Posted: 09/20/2022 15:10:57
Modified: 09/20/2022 15:10:18
ORANGE – Reverend Mateus Souza had a revelation the first time he passed by Orange Municipal Airport.
“I said, ‘Oh my God. It will be the perfect place for a festival,” he recalls. “That was the first thought that came to mind.”
This initial idea developed into the first Our Lady FallFest, which will be held at the airport on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The festival will consist of a classic car show on Sunday and a “food truck rodeo”, with five food trucks available depending on the day and time. Souza said there will also be a petting zoo and around 10 vendors.
While Souza wanted to have a stage with live shows, he opted to start small and build on the success of this festival.
“It’s going to be simple. But, nevertheless, I think it’s going to be a great event for the community. The parish is very proud of it,” Souza said. ” I can not wait to be there. I think it’s going to be wonderful. It’s very meaningful to us and we really want it to become a little tradition.
Since July 2021, Souza has presided over the Church of Our Lady Immaculate in Athol, St. Francis of Assisi in Athol and St. Peter’s Church in Petersham, known collectively as the North Quabbin Catholic Community.
The classic car show is hosted by Pam Harris, president of North Quabbin Cruisers, who also hosts the upcoming Bob Harris Jr. Memorial Harvest Car Show, named after her late husband. The show is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, although the festival remains open until 6:00 p.m. There are no entrance fees.
“I think it will grow. The first year is always trial and error,” Harris said, adding that she had no idea how many older vehicles would show up. “If we get 30 cars, I’ll be happy.”
Harris said there will also be a 50/50 raffle, with proceeds going to the North Quabbin Catholic Community. A food truck schedule is available on the group’s website Facebook page.
Souza said his vision was to model a festival on the one held annually by St. Mary of the Assumption in Milford, where Souza served as a priest for four years. He said he hopes to combine the festival with the parish fair, which was held until the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Lady FallFest hours are 5-10 p.m. Friday, 1-10 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
Contact Domenic Poli at: [email protected] or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.