Feast of St. Theresa, fun for everyone

One of Pelham Bay’s biggest street festivals, the annual Feast of Saint Theresa, will celebrate its 17th year with a five-day extravaganza set to begin on Wednesday, July 24.

Over 10,000 people from the Bronx and surrounding areas are expected to attend the feast, held on St. Theresa Avenue between Westchester Avenue and the Hutchinson River Parkway, and running through Sunday, July 28.

This year’s theme, “The Year of Faith—The St. Theresa Feast Embodies Our Faith—Let me show you how”, was chosen in recognition of Pope Benedict XVI proclaiming this year as a special year for Catholics to rediscover the gift of faith.

It promises a week of food, fun, and fellowship.

“This is how we bring the St. Theresa community as well as the outlying community together, to celebrate and have a good time,” said feast organizer Lou Aurrichio. “People come from all over to walk to streets, eat, and spend time with their friends. That’s pretty much what the feast is all about.”

Aurrichio said new additions this year will be a free rock climbing wall provided by the NYPD, as well as CPR training and a Fire Safety Smokehouse provided by the FDNY.

“We’re trying to make the feast more family friendly this year,” Aurrichio said. “We wanted to have some more things that families can do together.”

Helping to draw a crowd will be amusement park rides, games of chance, balloon twisting, face painting and photo-ops with costumed characters for the kids.

Festival goers will have a chance to sample all types of traditional Italian fare from sausage and peppers to sweet fried zeppoli.

As in previous years’ feasts, there will also be musical entertainment.

Live music opens Thursday night with the sounds of A Moments Worth, Brian Keith, The Scene, and Blues Brotherhood; Friday evening will see DJ Tony and Antonio Guarna; while on Saturday “The Legends” starring Dennis Dell will play.

The feast will end on Sunday with some Italian/American music by Gina and Gino Gentile.

Throughout the feast, community magician John Turdo of Simply Magic will wow all those in attendance with his illusions.

Tickets for the much-anticipated grand raffle are limited to the first 1,000 sold, and are available for a $100 donation. This year’s grand prize winner will have a choice of a 2013 Mercedes Benz C300 or $30,000.

As always, religious services will be held each night, starting at 7:30 p.m., with the remaining open all night. A procession through the streets with the statue of St. Theresa will held starting at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The feast will run from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and Sunday. For more information, call the rectory at (718) 892 -1900.

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394