Families Are Drawn To OLQM Festival
Our Lady Queen of Martyr Festival Woonsocket, RI July 29 through August 1st 2015
Families Are Drawn To OLQM Festival
By Les Cote, Linda Cote & Amy Laferriere Friday July 31, 2015
Summertime hosts a variety of fairs and festivals across the nation to celebrate family, fun, community and life. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish held its annual festival from July 29th through August 1st, a sixty year tradition central to Woonsocket and North Smithfield, Rhode Island. Situated on the busy corner of Park Ave. and Smithfield Rd this local church and school pulls together with the community of volunteers to present this spectacular event to the public. This extravaganza was started by Monsignor Ronaldo Gadoury in 1954. Back then it was called a carnival. Today it is spearheaded by Rev. Maurice Brindamour and is affectionately called OLQM.
In early years, OLQM traveled through the surrounding communities to promote unity, love and of course the impending carnival. I personally remember how this impacted my childhood. During the nineteen seventies a group of us children in Albion could not wait for the annual three days of summer when the OLQM carnival fire trucks rolled by our homes. Through the truck’s loud speakers playful carnival music echoed through the summer air. You could hear them coming from a mile away. Once we heard the music all the neighborhood children began lining the street eagerly waiting for the truck to pass by. This parade of fire trucks decked out in carnival fun was manned by people in costume. As this carnival parade meandered through the streets in Woonsocket, Lincoln and Smithfield the costumed crew armed with candy, toys and tickets tossed this happiness to children as they passed by. As these gifts of joy sprayed family yards, children would scramble to gather them up. These goodies found their way into the hands of children that were collecting as many of these prizes as they could carry. From that point on family’s would eagerly await the start of OLQM…
This year OLQM returned in spectacular fashion. It is mid summer in New England. The high temperature is not keeping fair goers from this event. Seen almost a mile away, a sparkling ferris wheel stands as though a beacon calling to the community. After parking our vehicle on a side street and a brief walk we are finally at Our Lady Queen of Martyr Festival in Woonsocket, RI. As the sun sets carnival ride lights begin to glow in amazing technicolor. With games, food and rides around ever corner of this campus, you cannot help but feel the excitement. There are people of all ages streaming into OLQM. They are all in search of fun. With the aroma of cotton candy sweetening everyone’s mood, you see friends volley back and forth as to which ride they will go on next. There are young couples meandering aimlessly just to spend extra time out with each other. Teen boys taking their chances at several games just to be that hero who wins a prize for his girl. Many families are spending quality time together venturing on rides, playing games, winning prizes and eating delicious foods. Hey, who wouldn’t want to win a stuffed Minion or a giant pink panda bear? There is so much to do while all anxiously awaiting the evening fireworks display.
This year we chose only one ride to embark upon. Of course Amy picked the ferris wheel. Onboard we were able to capture an overview of the activities while enjoying the ride. To see all our images from this years OLQM visit http://ironleafphotography.com/ galleries / events and OLQM 2015. We hope you enjoy them. From all of us at http://www.ironleaf.press/, have a wonderful year. See you there next July. Until then, the question on your mind should be; “What ride do we go on first?”