Nerd Life

Our Lady of Fatima Festival in Thorton, CA

I would like to start this post off by saying that I am not trying to make a religious post here. This is not what this is. What I am doing though is sharing my trip photos with you that happened to be at a religious event. If you’re still put off, at least scroll down to were all the pretty dresses are below and enjoy the craftsmanship put into them!

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That being said, I went to the Our Lady of Fatima Festa in Thorton, CA this past weekend. If you’re not familiar with what Our Lady of Fatima is, it’s a festival celebrating the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three young shepard children in Fatima. The story is actually a pretty neat read if you’re into history or religious history. You can read more here, though I’m not 100% sure on it’s accuracy. Additionally, the name of the city also has a neat history involving a princess marrying a solider, converting from Muslim to Christianity, and dying shortly after her wedding. You can read more here about how the city of Fatima got it’s name. Both are decently short reads and kinda neat to see.

It was nice to go since I hadn’t been in years. I remember Grandma still being able to walk around easily enough on her own, so that right there tells me it was 10+ years ago. The crowd was larger, and there were more participants in the parade that day. We weren’t expecting to be outside the whole time, either. It was still fun to go to for a few hours anyways.

The festival starts with Sunday Mass, which was given outdoors to accommodate the large crowd. I loved how the front of the church was decorated! They had a pathway lined with ivy-trimmed archways for the priest, bishop and team to walk under, along with the Thorton church’s chosen Queen, princesses and entourages for the event. We were not prepared for this being outdoor and I ended up with really awful back pains the whole time. Knew I should have worn my workout shoes instead of flats…

After the Mass, was the parade. So the parade showcases all of the girls who won titles of Queen and Princess for their church. These girls put a lot of donated time, effort and money into helping their church and communities to be crowned as Queen, first runner up princess and second runner up princess. The one who is crowned Queen went above and beyond to showcase her commitment to the cause. This is no simple beauty pageant here, folks. Imagine your local Cherry Queen or Peach Queen, only the effort is multiple because it’s for the church. At least, this is my understanding of it. I’ve never done this, nor known anyone who has. Additionally, finding hard evidence online is ridiculously hard, so any insight is welcomed in the comments below!Β There are two levels for the girls to compete: junior Queen and Queen title. You must be under 18, too.

Below are some of my favorites from the parade. I tried to get the junior Queens and teen Queens from each church, but the photos of their cities didn’t come out. They had little tikes helping out with those that had to sit still for too long and lost their minds the second they were able to walk, haha! Β Poor kids.

Even if you’re not one for religion or Catholicism, I asked that you at least take some time out to enjoy the dresses.Β I know that I really did. I’m not a very active Catholic these days, but I can always enjoy a great festival!

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Junior Queen and Princesses of Thorton
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Queen and Princesses of Thorton
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Detailed back of Queen’s cape
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Entourage with Statue
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Shrine and Displays of Statues

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The main street of Thorton was lined with small food and shop vendors selling goods, while the beer and food garden was posted at the back of the church. We stopped by the festival’s grocery booth to pick up some Portuguese cheese and a couple of candies! Other than seeing all the pretty dresses, getting the cheese and candies was probably the highlight of my trip. I’ll probably do a post about the later on. Wish I had gotten a bigger block now, haha!

But what about you?! Have you ever been to a religious festival? Have you ever been crowned in one? I’m interested to hear about others’ experiences since I don’t know of too many people who do these kinds of things.