By Kevin Kelley
Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, the Christian penitential season. That means Tuesday is “Fat Tuesday,” traditionally known as the last day for observers of the faith to feast.
For the third year in a row, Messiah Lutheran Church is celebrating its own version of Fat Tuesday, known as ShroveFest. The event is named after the day in England when people were “shriven,” or absolved from their sins after confession, Pastor Richard Ramirez said. Similar Fat Tuesday parties were called “ShroveFest” at a Chicago church at which Ramirez had served.
The event runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday on the church grounds, located at 21485 Lorain Road in Fairview Park.
The church has designed its ShroveFest not only as a gathering for its members but for members of the general public as well.
“It’s a community event,” said Sue Nerlinger, publicity coordinator for the church’s ShroveFest committee.
Meals will consist of pork, sauerkraut and dumplings; or stuffed cabbage with mashed potatoes and gravy. A la carte items will include bratwurst, hot dogs and dessert items. Meals cost $14, with kids meals starting at $3. Reservations are not necessary.
“It’s all homemade,” Nerlinger said of the meals that will be served.
Last year, about 650 meals were eaten at the church or ordered for carryout, Nerlinger said.
“We’ve grown each year,” she said of the event’s attendance.
Live music will be provided by violinist Mary Beth Ions. Other activities will include a beer tasting by Great Lakes Brewery and craft activities for children.
New this year will be a “market square” at which local artists will sell their works. The market is inspired by a market in Jackson Square, a park in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Nerlinger said.
The event will conclude with a traditional outdoor burning of palms to be used on Ash Wednesday and hymns.
For more information about the event, contact ShroveFest chairwoman Ginger Brookins at (440) 823-9392.