LELAND — The annual St. James Parish Fair is just a mere few days away.
However, the serving of spaghetti and meatballs made in a homemade sauce —the main staple of the fair — is anything but “mere” and comes with a salad and drink to-go for just $12 to be utilized for a charitable cause.
Slated to run from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the long-running parish fair serves as a fundraiser for St. James Catholic Church, 312 E. Third St., where the event will take place.
Mike Columbus, of Boone Funeral Home, has been at the helm of organizing the St. James Parish for more than three decades.
Although the parish fair has been limited to just the ticket raffle as opposed to the usual outdoor festivities, what many deem as the best part of the event, especially Columbus, remains.
That would be the spaghetti and meatballs dinner.
“The spaghetti and meatballs dish has used the same recipe for probably almost 80 years and it’s probably the best in the Delta. At least that’s my opinion,” Columbus said. “I’ve eaten at several places with spaghetti and meatballs and I think Leland has the best.”
Columbus also pointed out this year, parish fair goers won’t even have to leave their vehicles as there will be a stand setup on the street, on the side of the Catholic Youth building, for the dinners to be distributed to ticket holders.
Or, a spaghetti and meatballs dinner can be purchased on arrival in the drive-thru.
Raffle tickets can be purchased for $1 for a chance to win a cash prize of $750, $250 or $100. For a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000, folks can purchase one or more of the 200 $100 raffle tickets for that one.
As has been done in previous years, to keep the drawing fair, Columbus said a young child between 3 and 5 years old, who is unable to read, will be asked to pull a name from the barrel of tickets to determine the winner.
“We’ll begin the drawing around 7:30 (p.m.) at the end of the supper and you don’t have to be present to win,” he noted.
When the fair first began in the early 1940s, the big prize to win was bale of cotton. Because of the harvest season and cotton blooming in the early fall, that is how the festival came to be held on the last Tuesday of September. Other prizes would include live animals, such as pigs, goats and calves.
There will be signage along Broad and Third streets to direct event goers to St. James Catholic Church.
Call 662-686-732 to purchase tickets in advance.