RUSSIA – Looking for something fun to do on Labor Day weekend? Between Sept. 2 and 4, Russia Homecoming – put on by St. Remy’s Catholic Church and located at 101 St. Remy St. in Russia – will feature over a dozen events for kids and adults alike.
The festival will kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, with the opening of the lunch and beer stands. At 6:30 p.m., ticket sales will begin for the OSU v. Notre Dame football square pool and the Queen of Hearts game in the lunch tent. Tickets sales for the Queen of Hearts will end at 8:45 p.m. and the drawing starts at 9 p.m. Tickets will cost $5 for one and $20 for five, and 25% of the earnings will go to St. Remy’s. Participants must be present to win.
Also, at 6:45 p.m. on Friday will be the 14th annual Texas hold ‘em tournament in the entertainment tent and a 50/50 drawing at 10 p.m.
Saturday’s events begin at 8 a.m. with the men’s alumni basketball tournament at Russia High School and the co-ed volleyball tournament at the community park’s volleyball court. The volleyball tournament requires a $60 entry fee and a maximum of eight teams are allowed.
Saturday will also feature multiple kid’s events, including the elementary corn hole tournament for third through sixth grades at 1 p.m. east of St. Remy Hall and the kid’s straw pile hunt at 7:30 p.m. east of the fish pond. The brand-new midway from Bortner Shows – including kiddie rides, inflatables, food concessions and carnival games – will open at 5:30 p.m. and go until 11 p.m. Feel ‘N Lucky the Clown will also be in attendance from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
All the action happens at night with the outdoor mass at the Grotto at 4:30 p.m. and the Russia High School band performing at 6 p.m. There will be multiple drawings throughout the night with an early bird attendance drawing at 6:30 p.m., a night owl attendance drawing at 10 p.m., and a 50/50 drawing at 10:30 p.m. The Russia High School baseball state champs ring presentation will be at 7 p.m. on the west side of the hall, and music by High Water will start at 7:30 p.m. in the entertainment tent.
The 18th annual Running Raider 5k will kick off Sunday’s events at 9 a.m. with a one-mile fun run afterward. The alumni baseball game will be at the Russia High School baseball diamond at 11 a.m.
At noon, lunch and beer stands open and the ninth annual outdoor dodge ball tournament will be held east of St. Remy hall. There are four age divisions with six people per team and an entry fee. The 11th annual diaper derby will also be held at the same time in the entertainment tent.
The kiddie tractor pull will happen at 1 p.m. for ages 3-10 as well as the name that tune and artist contest in the entertainment tent. There will be an adult corn hole tournament at 2 p.m. and a junior firefighter challenge obstacle course, and rides and ice cream will open starting at 2 p.m.F
For anyone looking for “cute clothing styles at affordable prices,” the Embrace & Bloom Mobile Boutique will be close to the festival at 110 Borchers St. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The blackjack, dice game, fish pond and raffle table opens at 3 p.m., and the drawing for the raffle will be at 9 p.m. BBQ chicken dinners start at 3 p.m. and go until they’re sold out, and CareFlight will perform a fly-in and demonstration at that time.
The entertainment tent will be the place to be on Sunday night with acts like Crazy Craig the juggler at 4:30 p.m., acoustic music by Danny Schneible at 6 p.m., square dancing by Carson Regula at 7:30 p.m., and music by Roger DeMange and Rick Heyne at 8 p.m. There will be a junior high school and high school corn hole tournament at 6:30 p.m. and a 50/50 drawing at 10:30 p.m.
The festival has come a long way since the first one named Russia Homecoming was held in 1947. It was called this because of the veterans returning home from World War II, and at that time, it had a parade and a bazaar.
For more information about Russia Homecoming and to pre-register for events, visit http://www.russiahomecoming.com/index.html.