First Ringing of the Bells Celebration
Monday, May 30, 2011 This celebration was held in conjunction with our annual Fidelisfest on Memorial Day. (See our Fidelisfest page for details.) The church bells were rung every hour on the hour from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. to commemorate the “First Ringing of the Bells” in May 1911.
Visitations to local cemeteries at Victoria, Vincent, Pfeifer, Walker, and Emmeram in remembrance of the Veterans of Foreign Wars were followed by a Mass in St. Fidelis Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m. The St. Fidelis Cathedral Choir provided the music along with special guests, the St. John Bell Ringers, a bell choir from St. John Lutheran Church, Russell, Kansas.
After Mass, a German-style wedding meal was served in the Victoria Grade School cafeteria while the Wes Windholz band provided polka music in the gymnasium. An auction of new items donated by parishioners and local businesses followed. Kids’ games provided entertainment for the younger crowd. Winners of a raffle featuring cash prizes totaling $8,000 were drawn after the auction.
The day’s activities culminated with entertainment in the evening by Jimmy Dee and the Fabulous Destinations, a group of local Victoria musicians popular in this area for their performance of early 1960’s music.