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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Annual Carmelite Fair supports the sisters of the Carmelite Monastery

Oct 01, 2018 11:56AM ● By Jana Klopsch

Utah Pipe Band. (Lindsey Baxter/City Journals)

By Lindsey Baxter | [email protected]

The annual Carmelite Fair benefiting the sister nuns of the Carmelite Monastery was held on Sunday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is usually held on the third Sunday in September and has been going on for over 30 years. The event started with the Knights of Columbus doing the flag ceremony followed by a prayer by Mother Terese, who is in charge of the monastery.

Michelle Beasley, finance chair for the Carmelite Fair for four years, said, “It’s great weather today with live and silent auctions going on. All of the money goes to support the sisters of the Carmelite Monastery. They don’t have any other forms, really — this is their main source of income each year.”  

Beasley said everything is donated every year, which includes the gifts for the auction, the large raffle prizes (2018 Kia Niro, iPad, cash, camera, Traeger Grill), items to buy, jam, baked goods, down to the profits from the food that is bought to the food itself. Every item at the fair is donated from the community to support the monastery and the sisters. The Knights of Columbus will grow produce and even put money aside every year to buy produce to donate at the fair.

The fair is filled with entertainment, food, music, treats, games and drinks. There is an area for kids to play games, earn tickets to win prizes and also a small raffle for prizes just for kids. There is a large seating area for people to sit and eat while being entertained by a variety of different bands throughout the day. Different dancers also come through the fair to entertain, from Basque to Chinese to Tablado, Greek and ballet — they have it all! The day even included the Utah Pipe Band, who entertained with great bag pipe music and dancers.  


A family and friends leaving with their goods from supporting the sisters at the fair. From left to right (back to front): Linda, Lindsey, Rosanne, Elizabeth, John, Holly, Charlie, Wrigley. (Courtesy of John Wainscott)

 During all this the live auction was going on, with large item prizes that had bids going into the thousands of dollars. Prizes included U of U game tickets, workout packages, cooking lessons, workout equipment, jewelry, a firemen’s dinner for 10 and much more. 

Brian Mullahy, of Channel 2 News, has been volunteering at this event for years and loves helping out with the live auction to help engage people. “This is a place of great devotion,” Mullahy said. “I realize how devoted the nuns are and how much they need this event in order to support themselves for the year. And it’s also really for people who have never been — this is really one of the best parties in Utah. It’s really a very good time; there’s a great spirit here among all the people who are volunteers, people who come and are so generous, so that’s why I’m here.”

“Everybody just has a good time every year,” Beasley said. “Some of the volunteers have been volunteering for 33 years and they keep coming back because they love the sisters and they know this is what helps them keep going. It helps them with medical bills, monastery costs, food. Imagine everything you need coming from one place, one event for the entire year.”

As if all of this wasn’t enough, there was even more to the event. The day began with a 5K “Run for the Nuns” where participants could run or walk to support the nuns. The seventh annual Golf for the Nuns Tournament will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Crater Spring Golf Course.

As the event grows every year, they have had to increase the number of parking lots to four, with school busses to help shuttle people in. With at least 2,000 people visiting on a Sunday alone, this has definitely become a Holladay tradition that is loved by the community.