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40th Annual Bloomin’ Festival deemed a success

The threat of pouring rain was predicted as St. Bernard approached the 40th Annual Bloomin’ Festival Arts and Crafts event on April 20-21. However, the weekend saw cooler temperatures on Saturday which brought out a large crowd. On Sunday, the temps dropped to the low 60’s with occasional misting.  Of the weekend, Festival Director Joyce Nix remarked, “It was a wonderful success.”

More than 180 artists and craftspeople adorned the grounds with their handmade wares. Visitors were in awe of the artistic abilities of participants who came from as far away as New York, Missouri, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, and sweet home Alabama.

“Benedictine monks are known for hospitality,” said Nix, “and that rubs off on all of us; our volunteers shined. Whether it be taking money at the gate, selling tickets, assisting with parking, or serving food, our students, faculty, alumni, friends, and staff did an outstanding job.” 

Nix, who has served as the director of the festival since its inception 40 years ago, was thrilled with comments from attendees, “People who were first timers to the event sent notes and emails stating how Bloomin’ Festival was the best craft fair they had ever attended.”

Father Joel Martin, president of the St. Bernard Preparatory School, recognized Nix for her dedication to the festival for the past forty years. “People often ask,” said Father Martin, “if the festival is ‘gravy’ for St. Bernard. No, it’s part of the operating budget, but it’s important to know that the festival keeps St. Bernard open. Perhaps the most gratifying effect of the Bloomin’ Festival is that it brings the St. Bernard family together for the good of a wonderful gift to our community and world: St. Bernard Preparatory School.”

At the conclusion of the weekend, St. Bernard had the annual drawing to decide the winners of the festival’s sweepstakes prizes. The winners included Cynthia Bishop of Huntsville winning the 2024 Jeep Compass, Patrick Vu of Fountain Valley, CA winning the Apple Watch, Jeanne Federspille of Montgomery winning the I Home Auto Vac, Benedictine Sister Sherrie L Brainard of Cullman winning the Apple AirPods, and Carla Crafton of Huntsville winning the Roku Streaming Stick.

St. Bernard Prep is thankful to all who came and supported the school. “We appreciate everyone who participated, especially our sponsors, artisans, and families who worked diligently to make the weekend a success,” concluded Nix.

Now that the Bloomin’ Festival is one for the history books, St. Bernard is gearing up for the 8th Annual Bernard Blues and BBQ Arts and Crafts Festival to be held Sept. 7-8, in conjunction with a Kansas City Backyard BBQ Cook-off.