As details for the 140th St. Jerome Fancy Farm Picnic emerge, one traditional aspect of the event won't be held this year.
The political speaking, which has welcomed figures from local offices to vice presidents, will not take place, according to a message from St. Jerome Parish Priest, Father Darrell Venters, that was shared on Facebook Wednesday night.
Initial plans announced last week had the speaking moved from the picnic grounds pavilion into Fancy Farm Elementary School's with tickets allowing a small group inside the gymnasium to hear the politicians.
However, the message from Venters detailed the picnic's updated plan. It read that "After a lot of prayer, discerning the wisdom and understanding from the Holy Spirit, gathering the "sense of the faithful", considering the diocesan guidelines from Bishop (William) Medley and the State of Kentucky, looking at the 'signs of the times', considering the welfare of the parishioners and members of the community," the 140th St. Jerome Picnic will:
• sell pork and mutton by the pound
• conduct an online and person to person raffle
• sell T-shirts
• None of the other booths or stands will be open
• No camping sites will be rented
• No Friday night events will be held
• The political speaking will not take place
"I know this is a disappointment to some and comes as a relief to others. However, taking into consideration all the factors, I believe it is the best route to take at this time," Fr. Venters added..
More details will be released soon, the message added.
The annual picnic is a major fundraiser for the parish.
Venters said that he appreciated the work the picnic's committee.
"The parish of St. Jerome has been in existence for 184 years. During those 184 years, the people have lived and prayed through times of drought, wars, pandemics, times of plenty and times of scarcity and have held steady to the faith and depended on God's providence. We will continue to do the same in our time and in the future," he wrote.