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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Spin. That. Wheel!

Summer socials are a meeting point of food and fellowship

Lucy Himstedt knows the magic of summer socials. The retired local television executive won a gorgeous quilt in a big wheel raffle about 20 years ago at St. Mary Catholic Church in Ireland, Indiana, and hasn’t given up on snagging another. More than that, she loves the food and fellowship of these annual traditions. We connected with Lucy ahead of this season’s socials to get a preview of what to expect. – Evansville Living editors


Chicken dinners, along with grand raffles and paddle wheels, are a staple of summer socials throughout our area. And as my friend Theo Boots from St. Philip parish reminded me, what’s most important is keeping the “social” in summer socials. Old-fashioned family fun is primary.

A big draw for many of our local socials is theme baskets that are either auctioned or raffled. At St. Wendel, more than 100 baskets can be won by chance. Their selection and quality are amazing, each having a value of $150 or more (some a lot more). Good Shepherd in Evansville involves the whole school in building their baskets. Each grade is assigned a category to bring – from dinosaurs and princesses to gift cards and spa items.

Holy Rosary’s is one of the only three-day socials left and features carnival rides. Another draw is amazing Latino food thanks to the influence of parishioners who came from the now-closed Nativity parish.

The topic of food takes me to my husband’s home parish and our favorite social – St. Bernard in Rockport, Indiana. The biggie is their turtle soup – they make approximately 600 gallons a year. Roger Hurm and Steve Daming have overseen the soup for some 35 years. Roger confirms the soup no longer actually contains turtle; today’s recipe contains pork and is very tasty!

When You Go

Holy Rosary Catholic Church
1301 S. Green River Road, Evansville
Social is May 30-June 1, 2024

Good Shepherd Catholic Church
2301 N. Stockwell Road, Evansville
Social is June 20-22, 2024

St. Philip Catholic Church
3500 St. Phillips Road South, Mount Vernon, Indiana
Social is Aug. 10-11, 2024

St. Bernard Catholic Church
547 Elm St., Rockport, Indiana
Social is Aug. 18, 2024

St. Wendel Catholic Church
4725 St. Wendel Cynthiana Road, Wadesville, Indiana
Social is Sept. 7-8, 2024

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