Young parishioners and friends of St. Leo the Great Parish enjoy the rides during the 2019 carnival held in mid-June. Courtesy photo
Young parishioners and friends of St. Leo the Great Parish enjoy the rides during the 2019 carnival held in mid-June. Courtesy photo

The way folks at St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft, see it, there are multiple purposes for having a parish carnival.

“The carnival is a community-building event,” said Joe Manzi, director of finance, operations and development for the parish. “Its prime purpose is to bring members of the [parish] family together for a common goal – to enjoy each other and to be aware that we are all members of this family.”

Explaining some of the logistics of the 2019 carnival, Manzi said 1,100 volunteers were needed for the event, which this year ran June 17-22. “We were blessed to have many young adult volunteers help with the staffing of games and various other activities,” he said. “Many times you would see parents with their children staffing the games, a true family event.”

One of the carnival highlights featured the parish’s expanded music ministry and the presence of many local performers providing music. He noted that the parish was pleased to have the advertiser program secure more than 50 businesses to offer support.

Manzi indicated that funds raised this year will be used to help the parish with capital expenses, then added that the parish strives to engage in projects that are classified as “green energy projects.” Such examples include replacing outdated equipment with energy-efficient products, introducing solar -powered lights and using well water to reduce the use of city water, to name a few.

“We are blessed to have been able to run this fair almost 40 years,” Manzi said. “Yes, raising funds is important but not as important as the building of relationships among the families of the parish.”