SHOW LOW — St. Rita’s 49th Annual Fiesta will be held 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m Sunday, July 7, at St. Rita’s Church, 1400 E. Owens in Show Low.

St. Rita’s fiesta has been an annual event since 1980 and is open to the entire community.

“It’s a happy time, it’s festive,” say event committee member Cecilia Barthen. “There’s many, many things to do for families and kids.”

Musical entertainment includes the ever-talented White Mountain Big Band will perform from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and local favorite, Blue Tattoo Group follows from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

In keeping with tradition, colorful Matachines Dancers from parishes in Arizona and New Mexico open the fiesta by dancing from inside the church into the pavilion area.

Matachines Dancers have roots going back many centuries and honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin Mary. The dancers traditionally perform one of the few dances shared by both Hispanic and Native peoples.

In line with the multi-cultural celebration, there will be American, Filipino, Native American and traditional Mexican food at the festival. Save room for dessert because there will be a bake sale in the parish hall as well as a cake walk outside.

The crowd will have a chance to bid on silent auction items inside the parish hall, as well as participate in a live auction.

Kids of all ages will have fun playing games set up especially for them. There will also be a water slide in the grassy area adjacent to the main ramada.

Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the event at $1 per ticket or six tickets for $5. Random drawings for prizes will be conducted throughout the event, but you don’t have to be present to win. The grand prize drawing will be $1,000; second prize is $200, along with three other prizes of $100 each.

Proceeds benefit multiple St. Rita’s projects including World Youth Day, St. Anthony’s School, assistance to the poor, the St. Rita’s food pantry and other community services for those in need.

For more information, call Cecilia Barthen at 928-242-9062 or visit www.stritasshowlow.com.

Reach the reporter at lsingleton@wmicentral.com

Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

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