The St. Helen Festival is one of the Dayton area's longest running festivals.
Photo: Contributed
Photo: Contributed

Festival famous for its cabbage rolls and $10K raffle to donate part of profits back to tornado relief

The St. Helen Spring Festival in Riverside is now is its 66th year.

And this year, it’s even more special in that it will be giving back some of the proceeds that support the church to help with tornado relief efforts.

This year’s event, running June 7-9, has some of the familiar attractions that bring generations of people back year after year. But there are also a few things that make it pretty special, and this year is no different. 

If you’ve never been, or haven’t been in a while, here are some great reasons to break that streak this year:

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TORNADO RELIEF

First and foremost, it is important to know that the festival will be giving back to surrounding communities after last week’s devastating tornadoes. 

In a recent Facebook update, St. Helen Parish announced they will be donating 10% of the net income from the festival to local agencies looking to help those affected by the storms recover. Though the church was not damaged, it recognizes the need for local support.

DAYTON CRAFT BEER

Warped Wing Brewing Company tapped the 10 TON Irish Cream Stout, a special variation of their Oatmeal Stout ahead of St. Patrick's Day at their brewery in downtown Dayton on Saturday, March 9. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

Now it’s true lots of festivals have beer, and thank goodness for that. However, not all have craft beer. This year St. Helen’s Festival will have 12 craft beer taps featuring local beers from Warped Wing Brewing Company and Moeller Brew Barn and Summer Shandy.

The festival also will include familiar favorites. Here’s the tap list:

• Warped Wing Trotwood Lager  

• Warped Wing Flyer Red Lager  

• Warped Wing Ermal's Belgian Cream Ale  

• Warped Wing Gamma Bomb India Pale Ale  

• Warped Wing Seasonal  

• Blue Moon Belgian White  

• Moeller Brew Barn Wally Post Red  

• New Belgium Fat Tire Belgian Ale  

• Founders IPA  

• Miller Lite  

• Summer Shandy  

• Strongbow

LOCAL FOOD

Let’s face it: this is the real reason most of us hit festivals, and St. Helen’s is notorious for its delicious food at reasonable prices. 

The kitchen offers several delicious options, but the cabbage rolls are the stars of the show.

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Holy Smokes BBQ returns to the event for its fourth year as well.  Meanwhile, the bake sale inside the school features pastries including funnel cakes and other tasty treats. Be sure to get the party early on Saturday and Sunday for Matinee Specials with pizza, hot dogs, corn on the cob, beer and more.

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FESTIVAL KITCHEN FULL MENU:

Main Entrees Ala Carte: 

Salisbury Steak — $5

Cabbage Roll (1) — $5

Salad w/baked Chicken — $5

Bourbon Chicken over rice — $5

Cajun Jambalaya over rice — $5

Sandwiches and Sides: 

Chicken Wrap — $4.50 

Ham & Cheese Sandwich — $3.50 

Mac and Cheese — $3

Mashed Potatoes — $1.50 

Rice — $1.50 

Corn — $1.50 

Green Beans — $1.50 

Tossed Salad — $1.50 

Cole Slaw — $1.50 

Apple Sauce — $1.50 

Rolls — $ .50

Desserts/drinks:

Pie Slice — $1.50 

Drinks — $1

Bottled Water — $1

Main Entrée and 2 sides — $7 

Main Entrée and 1 side — $6

Vegetarian Plate choice of 4 sides — $5

The homemade cabbage rolls are the stock in trade of the St. Helen Festival every year.
Photo: Contributed

GAMES OF CHANCE

One of the festival’s biggest attractions has been the various booths where you can wager to donate or win small amounts of money. But the St. Helen raffles are no joke. $100 winners will be announced every hour throughout the weekend and winners need not be present to win. What’s more, there will be a $1,000 winner announced for Friday and Saturday each, with a $10,000 winner named Sunday evening. Not a bad incentive to get out of the house for a few hours.

Tickets sold at Main Booth for $5 each or six for $25.

Other activities include a cake booth, bingo, basketball and much much more!

Another St. Helen tradition is the basket raffles where prize packages worth a minimum of $200 are up for grabs. Some of the baskets in past years have included things like a Nintendo Switch, American Girl merchandise, Vera Bradley bags, a Gatlinburg package, a Yeti cooler, an Apple Watch and more. Tickets are $1 each or 60 tickets for $30.

This University of Dayton prize basket is from St. Helen's 2018 festival. Look for new and exciting prize baskets this year! from St. Helen Spring Festival Facebook page

LOCAL BANDS

St. Helen Spring Festival organizers have always worked to provide a multitude of musicians to please the crowds over the years. This year, there are going to be TWO stages going all day. 

Here are the schedules: 

Beer Garden Stage

Friday, June 7th:

7 p.m. - Spungeworthy

10 p.m. - Thomas Mac

Saturday, June 8th:

1 p.m. - Southbound

3:30 p.m. - The Driving Force

5:30 p.m. - Retrobution

8 p.m. - Five Story Plunge

10 p.m. - Last Call

Sunday, June 9th:

1 p.m. - The Hathaways

3:30 p.m. - Mad Hatter

6 p.m. - Ithika

School Lawn Stage

Friday, June 7th:

6:30 p.m. - Moonstone

9 p.m. - Five 

Saturday, June 8th:

1 p.m. - Homebodies

3 p.m. - Kellen Williams Trio

6 p.m. - Bauner Chafin

7:30 p.m. - The Doug Hart Band

10 p.m. - Allen Talbott

Sunday, June 9th:

1 p.m. - Todd the Fox

3 p.m. - The Wallens

5 p.m. - Jayme

7 p.m. - The Repeating Arms

FAMILY FRIENDLY FUN

There will be rides, with an unlimited rides matinee special from 1-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for $20. 

St. Helen will have a section with activities just for kids such as face painting and a “kiddie corner”.

Family Games & Activities 

• Face Painting Bars & Bells  

• Pick a Prize Mugslide  

• Kiddie Corner Super Bowl  

• Doll Booth Speed Pitch  

• Cake booth Krazy Klownz Crazy "Ball Football Toss  

• Chuck O Luck Basketball

• Rainbow

PARKING

Free parking is available on the hill behind St. Helen School. You can get to the parking lot from the Granville Place entrance.  There will be handicapped parking available as well as a shuttle service.

If you want to catch the shuttle, park in the additional off-site parking at Carroll High School. 

Shuttle Schedule:

Friday June 7th - 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.  

Saturday June 8th - 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. 

Sunday June 9th - 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: 66th Annual St. Helen Spring Festival

WHERE: 5086 Burkhardt Road, Riverside

WHEN: Friday, June 7 from 6:30 p.m.-midnight; Saturday, June 8 from 1 p.m.-midnight; and Sunday, June 9 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

COST: Free admission

INFO: Website | Facebook

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