St. Paul Catholic Church Festival

The Chicken Charlie dinner at St. Paul Catholic Church in Florence is kind of a big deal. Big enough that a giant fowl, “Chicken Charlie” emblazoned across his chest, crowns a game booth in the middle of the action. Saturday’s actual dinner—half a chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, cole slaw, cucumber-and-onion salad, a roll, and dessert—happens inside the school, where fourth-graders shuttle back and forth with desserts and drinks. Sunday, the LaRosa’s spaghetti dinner raises dough for the eighth grade class trip, marketed by reluctant students circling around the skee ball, whiffle ball toss, and goldfish toss with their placards. Grownups can partake of “big card” poker (using cards large enough to be read from across the parking lot), splurge on split-the-pot tickets, or try to hit a hole-in-one into a toilet while the kids enjoy the rides (hello, Fun Slide!). Should you or your littles require more fuel, the funnel cake wagon turns out plates of fried dough and the Kona Ice truck helps cool things down. We also spotted a flock of fathers (the holy variety) leading the faithful toward the Knights of Columbus Holy Donuts trailer. That’s right: They make fresh fried doughnuts on-site until they run out of dough. Which is inevitable. We suggest you follow them. 7301 Dixie Highway, Florence, saintpaulflorence.com

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