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May 03, 2016 | Paulette E. Martin

St. Peter’s Festival Attracts Record Attendance

Kids and the youth participate in Mexican folk dancing at St. Peter's Festival.


St. Peter’s welcomed a record-breaking crowd of parishioners and neighbors of Pasadena for the sixth annual “St. Peter’s Festival,” held to celebrate the congregation’s Hispanic culture and to raise funds for the church. Additionally, the annual event, that attracted more than 1200 participants this year, creates the opportunity to strengthen bonds and create new ones with the community.


The event, which required the closing of the main street fronting the church, featured colorful folk dances from several Mexican and Central American regions, as well as a wide selection of regional food: pupusas, Colombian empanadas, tacos. Clowns frolicked among the crowd, and children bucked on a mechanical bull and rode a live pony.


Clearly pleased with the beautiful weather after last year’s downpour during the festival, the Rev. Pedro López, vicar of San Pedro/St. Peter made sure the event was covered with prayer. "Although we’re all out here, back at the church we are praying all day, so it's the complete package," he said.


Although he worships at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Houston, this was Carlos Alberto Muiñiz’s first time to attend St. Peter’s Festival.


"I’ve come to this church about six times and I confess that there is an incredible spirit. It is full of blessings and needs more people who want to continue working here to make events similar to this one," Muñiz said.


Both Dina Gutiérrez and López’s son, Nathan sing in the choir at the youth service, held at noon on Sundays. Gutiérrez, 22, a student at the University of Sam Houston, joined Nathan López, to sing several songs at the festival.


"When God has given you a gift, you have to put it into a good use. I like to praise God," Gutierrez said. "I'm not just singing to get better or to praise God but also to motivate young people to use their gifts.”


Without a doubt, the festival had something for all ages. But most visible was the camaraderie among parishioners and the cooperation it took to make this event a great success.


Personal invitation was the takeaway for Muñiz. He said it was the most important lesson he wants to share with his congregation after attending the event.


"Invite someone. If you invited 30 people and 15 or five came, it's a gain. As long as you invite them to participate, you open the doors to them, people will participate," Muñiz said.