Sts. Peter and Paul Fest was highly successful
August 3, 2014: Toledo may have been without water this past weekend, but what more than 7,000 Northwest Ohio residents were really thirsty for was plenty of Latin music, Mexican food, and family fun.
The annual Sts. Peter & Paul Festival turned out to be a success even though organizers decided to cancel most of Saturday’s events after the city of Toledo released an urgent notice to all Toledo water-users to not drink, bathe, or try to boil the water. During routine testing a high level of algae toxins were found in the water, which could cause people to become dangerously ill. A drinking ban was still in effect through Monday.
Arturo Quintero, president of the festival committee, said organizers were fortunate because they had already decided to extend this year’s festival into a three day event. The annual festival is one of the church’s main fundraisers, said Quintero.
“We decided to do it three days this year instead of two days because we were already going to pay for the use of the tent for three days,” said Quintero.
The festival, which started on Friday evening, was scheduled to resume at 2 p.m., Saturday. But after the water ban was issued, organizers decided to cancel everything but the evening’s musical performances, which began at 5 p.m. and included Los Badd Boyz of Del Valle, El Corazón de México, DJ LA Babe, and La Traizion.
About 1,000 people attended the concert - less than half the size of previous year’s crowds – which was likely due to people being unsure whether the concert would proceed, said Mary Torres, the church’s office administrator. The church still raised more than $5,700 for the night, a respectable amount which indicated concert-goers were “drinking plenty of beer,” she said with a laugh.
By Sunday afternoon hundreds of people began pouring into the festival to check out the vintage car show, feast on Mexican food and parents enjoyed watching and helping their children participate in various games and activities.
Toledo resident Renée Richardson was enjoying herself Sunday, even as she tried to reign in her children, Judah, 9 and Kamaria 8, who were having a difficult time deciding what to buy at some of the vendor booths that were new to the festival this year.
Kamaria settled on a shiny gold purse, which she planned to start “taking to church” with her. Judah, who first became excited when he saw the various Lucha Libra wresting masks for sale, eventually settled for a pair of boxing gloves.
“I want to grow up and be like Rocky,” said Judah, whose announcement prompted his mother to momentarily reconsider her decision to buy the gloves.
A booth operated by Nani’s Place, a Toledo business, featured clay pottery hand-made by indigenous people of various regions of México, along with various religious-themed jewelry and pictures and more pottery from Laredo, TX.
Another new festival highlight was the crowning of the 2014 St. Peter & Paul Festival Queen. This year’s winner was three-year-old Gabriela Vallejo of Toledo.
Julia Pelton, 75, of Sylvania and her son Joe Pelton, 44, of Toledo are longtime members of St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. Mrs. Pelton, a festival volunteer, arrived early so that she could spend some time socializing with friends.
“I used to cook the food here,” Mrs. Pelton said. “It’s beautiful to come and see all the Latinos together and to see old friends that we haven’t seen in a long time.”
Sunday’s main event act, Toledo’s Aztecas, performed two sets. Friday’s performer was Xplozivo.