Although the Labor Day forecast was abysmal, it didn't stop locals and guests from visiting the 36th Annual International Festival at Good Shepherd Catholic Church.
The rain held off for most of the afternoon, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy games, performers, and, of course, different types of ethnic cuisine at the festival.
Father Thomas "Tom" Ferguson, who was recently installed into the parish, says that the International Festival has grown to reflect the parish's changing culture.
"One of the things I'd say is that the Festival really reflects the parish and the way it's grown over the years, with more ethnic groups participating," said Father Tom.
The Festival runs smoothly thanks to hundreds of volunteers like Sally Batchelder of Springfield, who oversees the Chinese food booth.
"I like it," said Batchelder, a longtime parishioner who got her family into volunteering in the booth. "There's not much to do until now, when it gets busy. I love the church and it's worth it to come this far to help."
Rayna Rodas has volunteered in the Hispanic food booth for 16 years, overseeing 200 volunteers who help keep the booth running.
"It's easy for me because everyone knows me and I think I'm easy to get along with," she said with a laugh. "It's one group of people who come together as one."
Proceeds from the International Festival benefit the church's Shepherd's Gate grant program, which helps local nonprofits reach out to those in need.