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Published: Sunday, 8/4/2013

REGINA COELI CATHOLIC CHURCH

Families, friends reunite for fun, food at festival

Event benefits parochial school

BY MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Logan Mocniak, 7, a second-grade student at Regina Coeli School, rides a pony during the school's annual festival on Saturday. Logan Mocniak, 7, a second-grade student at Regina Coeli School, rides a pony during the school's annual festival on Saturday.
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Logan Mocniak showed no emotion, save for an occasional frown, as he rode a pony Saturday at the Regina Coeli Festival in northwest Toledo.

But once he got off the pony, the 7-year-old from Toledo was all smiles.

“I was imagining I was a cowboy and going really fast,” he said. “It was fun. It’s my second time. I’ll do it again.”

The second-grade student at Regina Coeli School was one of an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 visitors at the annual festival, which concludes its four-day run today.

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It features carnival rides, traditional Polish food, and musical entertainment outside the Regina Coeli Activities Center near Regina Coeli Catholic Church, 530 Regina Pkwy., just off Bennett Road near Alexis Road.

Those attendance figures “are just about what we had last year — a lot of parish families and their friends and families,” said Nick Chupp, the festival’s chairman. “Nothing’s new this year. We kind of have a good thing going, and we keep it going.”

The festival even got a blessing from Mother Nature, as rain forecast for Saturday morning cleared out of the area before sunrise.

“Attendance is better than anticipated,” Mr. Chupp said. “You couldn’t ask for better weather.”

Logan came to the festival with his mother, Angela Mocniak, 31, father, Jason Mocniak, 34, and brothers, Gavin Mocniak, 4, and Collin Mocniak, 1.

“We are all having fun,” Ms. Mocniak said. “My favorite thing is to watch the kids take rides. We go to the church here, and the kids go to school here. So we come here [to the festival] every year.”

Julia Ehlert, 13, left, and Taylor Albain, 15, take a spin on a giant swing ride during the Regina Coeli Festival on Saturday. Julia Ehlert, 13, left, and Taylor Albain, 15, take a spin on a giant swing ride during the Regina Coeli Festival on Saturday.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Like the Mocniaks, most visitors appeared to be with relatives or friends. Many milled around the attractions and food stands, separated to go on rides, then rejoined and shared their impressions.

“I come here to see all my old friends from Regina Coeli, people I used to go to school with from preschool to eighth grade,” said Taylor Albain, 15, of Toledo.

Taylor was with her friend, Julia Ehlert, 13, also of Toledo, a Regina Coeli eighth-grader.

“I [also] come here just to hang out with my friends and have fun,” Julia said, noting that her favorite rides were the Tornado and the swings.

The festival typically generates between $30,000 and $40,000 to benefit Regina Coeli School, Mr. Chupp said.

Event sponsors include Sofo Foods, the Grogan’s Towne auto dealerships, and Cumulus Radio.

The festival’s concluding hours today are noon to 7 p.m., with highlights including polka music, a bean-bag toss tournament at noon, and a classic-car show from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $1.50 each or 30 for $30.

Contact Mike Sigov at: sigov@theblade.com, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.



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