IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – Over the weekend, an annual fundraising event at the Carmelite Fall Festival, held at the serene Monastery in Iron Mountain, attracted a considerable crowd of supporters. This event, which supports Catholic nuns dedicated to a life of prayer and fasting, is a cherished tradition taking place every year during the second weekend in September.
Christina Cerecedes, a devoted Fall Fest Volunteer, shared her excitement about the event. New to the area, this is Cerecedes’ second year volunteering for the event. “Well I like to volunteer, that’s just one of the things I do. And they asked for volunteers last year. So I volunteered and I just fell in love with it,” remarked Cerecedes. “The one sister that is the spokesperson, she’s so endearing, it’s just humbling to me,” she noted, adding “Absolutely the highlight is the sisters’ bread. I guess it’s been going on for 20, maybe 30 years. I sat here just as I am today last year, and I saw the line, and I thought, ‘What in the world is the line for?’ They said, ‘Oh, the sisters’ bread.’ Well’ that was no joke,” she explained. Cerecedes informed that by the time she got to the front of the line last year it was sold out. She explained that they always save some for the second day of the festival, so she made sure to be first in line the next day.
“And it’s wonderful. So they have cinnamon bread, raisin bread, and I think wheat bread. And then so many people volunteer their crafts you know, they share their art with us – their craftiness. And then the luncheon. So this year we’re trying something different, and we’re having an Italian turkey lunch. So this area was settled by Italians, very Italian. So we’re having Italian sandwiches,” Cerecedes informed.
Indeed, the sisters’ bread was the talk of the festival. The delectable handmade treats were in such high demand that they sold out within a mere 30 minutes on the first day. Throughout the festival, close to a hundred loaves of this cherished bread found new homes.
The Carmelite Fall Festival is not only about delicious treats but also about coming together to support a noble cause. This year, approximately 80 people were eagerly lined up to enter the festival grounds before the official opening on Saturday, a testament to the enduring popularity of this event.
Countless local businesses donated gift baskets to be used as raffle prizes. Cerecedes explained how the event is planned, for those looking to volunteer their time, or businesses looking to contribute a prize basket.
“There are six Catholic Churches in the area. And what we do is we divide into two. So this year, it was Immaculate Conception which is the parish I belong to, and St. Mary’s St Joseph’s. So for two years we’ve done this. So now next year it’ll move to two other of the parishes. So I would just contact your local Catholic Church in the area. It’s always in the second week of September. And we love baked goods, we love crafts, people donate theme baskets, anything like that,” Cerecedes explained.
In addition to savoring the delectable bread, attendees had the opportunity to connect with fellow festival-goers and even meet a visiting Holocaust survivor, making it an enriching experience beyond the culinary delights. More stories and insights from festival attendees, including the visiting Holocaust survivor, will be featured tonight at 11 PM/10 Central.