St. Patrick’s Dinner Dance returns to historic church May 22 with live music, Bravo beer

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BURRILLVILLE – A popular fundraising event to raise money for a historic local church returns to town on Saturday, May 22 with entertainment, a dinner and beer from a local brewery.

Tickets are now on sale for the Saint Patrick’s Church Spring Dinner/Dance, an event that typically brings out around 130 people for a fun evening of music and food.

The Live Music Band has performed at the dinner since its inception four years ago, and will play again in 2021. The fundraising event was cancelled in 2020 amid restrictions caused by COVID-19.

“The St. Patrick’s activity committee is very excited to be able to host this event and encourages people to come help us celebrate getting back to normal,” said Jim Langlois, a member of the committee, and guitarist and vocalist for the band.

Formed in 1980, The Live Music Band is made up of six seasoned local rock musicians with a musical repertoire that spans decades.  Langlois said that the band has kept busy with private events over the past few months, and now, their calendars are filling up fast as the area begins the return to in-person entertainment.

On May 22, the church will serve a chicken cordon bleu dinner with coffee and dessert. There will be a cash bar serving soft drinks, wine, and beer from Burrillville-based Bravo Brewing Company, and a 50/50 raffle.

The event is held in the basement of Saint Patrick’s at 45 Harrisville Main St., the first church established in the village in 1854 by Rev. Bernard Tully. The original church building was destroyed in 1938, but the parish is listed on the National Register of Historic places as contributing to the district both architecturally and historically.

St. Patrick’s is considered the mother parish of the Catholic Church in northwest Rhode Island, and its territory once extended from the Blackstone River to Putnam, Conn.

“Others came after as off-shoots,” explained George Lough, another member of the committee.

Bishop Russell McVinney served as a curate at St. Patrick’s in the mid-1920s, and would later bless the alter. The church was consecrated in 1988 by Bishop Louis Gelineau.

“It really serves a lot of the community,” said Lough. “It’s a really special town, and that is a really special church.”

“It’s a great community event, and people haven’t been able to do anything in forever,” Lough added of the dinner.

Lough is among the activities committee members certified in food preparation who will help to create the meal in the parish hall kitchen.

Langlois noted that COVID safety protocols will be in place for the event.

“The church holds 200 and is spacious enough for tables, chairs, and dance floor with room to spare,” he said.

Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, with The Live Music Band playing from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Proceeds from the dinner/dance will support the church’s various ministries and activities, as well as maintenance of the facilities. It is one of several annual events put on by the activity committee, which also hosts a summer yard sale, spring and fall plant sale, parishioners family picnic, and the annual Christmas Bazaar.

Tickets for the event cost $20 each or two for $35 and can be purchased by calling (401) 568-2411 or (401) 568-4723. Langlois said callers should leave a message and someone will get back to them.

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