ST. JOHN | A festival atmosphere descends on St. John this weekend.
Food, music, games for the kids, a haunted house and an Oktoberfest celebration all come together today through Sunday.
“St. John is the place to be this weekend,” said Mike Forbes, Town Council president and head scaremaster at the Lake Hills Haunted House.
The 11th annual haunting of a Lake Hills house begins tonight from 7 to 11, 7 to midnight Saturday and 7 to 10 Sunday. The cost is $15 per person at the door.
On Saturday and Sunday, celebrate St. John’s 175th anniversary at a festival in Civic Park, next to St. John Town Hall, at 10955 W. 93rd Ave.
Sponsored by the town of St. John and the St. John chamber, the festivities conclude a weeklong celebration of the town’s founding in 1837, said Mark Barenie, Town Council vice president and chairman of the 175th anniversary committee.
Sample the cuisine and carnival foods offered during the two-day Taste of St. John at the park. St. John restaurants and other food vendors will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“There will be non-food and retail vendors as well,” Barenie said.
Other festival highlights on Saturday are a beer tent, sponsored by the St. John Fire Department, which is open from noon to 11 p.m.; family activities beginning at 11:30 a.m.; and a Hula hoop and Twinkie-eating contest at 2. Live entertainment begins at 5, featuring Nicole Jamrose at 8.
Then on Sunday, there’ll be more food and shopping during the Taste of St. John from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Take a tour of town facilities and check out the firetrucks during the St. John Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The St. John Public Safety event has been combined with the 175th anniversary festival this year, Barenie said. Among the displays at the St. John Public Safety Building adjacent to the park will be the town’s newest firetruck and ambulance.
More festival fun will be found from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the sixth annual St. John Oktoberfest at St. John the Evangelist old parish parking lot, 9400 Wicker Ave. (U.S. 41), about a block from Civic Park.
Visitors can enjoy music by a DJ from noon to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 9 p.m. There’ll be live entertainment from 2 to 4 p.m.
German cuisine and festival food are served from noon to 9 p.m. The Bier Garden will be open throughout the festival for those 21 and older.