DuBOIS — Known as the “chief chef” of the homemade soup department, Art Pilatsky is going to miss helping out at the annual St. Catherine’s Fall Festival after this weekend’s event.

Pilatsky, who will be moving later this year to be closer to his daughter in Arizona, said he has always enjoyed fundraising through many of the church events.

“He and I kind of head up the soup department,” said Bobbie Jerry. With helpers Joyce Showers and Pam Vota, Jerry and Pilatsky all have been helping out at the festival for about seven years.

“We made three different kinds of soup this year,” said Jerry. They include chicken noodle, vegetarian vegetable and stuffed pepper soups.

“We started a little before 8 a.m. this morning,” said Showers, noting that Jerry did a lot of the prep work at home.

“Yes, I cooked up 20 pounds of hamburger and cut up two bushels of peppers,” Jerry said.

The soups also include 10 pounds of potatoes and 15 pounds of chicken, in addition to all the other ingredients which make the soup delicious, such as garlic and onion.

An ingredient some might not expect in the stuffed pepper soup is brown sugar, said Jerry.

“There’s just something about it that makes it taste so good,” she said.

Those attending the festival can eat the soup there or take it home by the quart.

The celebration, which benefits the St. Catherine Parish and has been held each year for close to 10 years, starts off at McGivney Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and continues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, at 123 S. State St., DuBois. It will include at least 12 craft vendors, a bake sale, large mums for sale and raffles. Breakfast and lunch will also be served. Another favorite item on the menu includes hot sausage sandwiches, about 25 pounds’ worth.

“We have a huge bake sale,” said Showers, noting that she makes lots of homemade biscotti.

Barb Shaffer, who died three years ago, started the festival. Liz Snell has been the chairwoman for the last three years.

“We love the camaraderie,” said Showers.

“As much as we gripe, we have fun doing it,” said Vota. “You see so many people from the whole community.”

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