Church plans inaugural Harvest Fest


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  • The Snake Oil Willie Band will perform at the Fest on Saturday.




  • The Snake Oil Willie Band will perform at the Fest on Saturday.




This Saturday and Sunday, Holy Spirit Orthodox Church will host its inaugural Harvest Festival.

“We're excited about the festival not only as a fundraiser for the church but more importantly to let the community know about our church and what we're all about. It will be an exciting community event, and we're very happy to have one of our parishioners, Seth Fleishman, and the band he plays in, Snake Oil Willie, performing on Saturday,” said Father Gregory White, the pastor at Holy Spirit Orthodox Church.

Snake Oil Willie was formed in 1995 and has become a local favorite both as a cover band and for its own music.

“We were just a group of friends who wanted to play classic country and rock and roll. We got our name at a Halloween party," and member Tony Krucinski said. "Danny Pope, our guitar player at the time, saw a Halloween tombstone that read 'Here lies Snake Oil Willie' and it stuck.”

The band is a three-man wonder and includes, Krucinski, who hails from Kemah Lake and plays drums and does vocals; Frank DeBonis, of Stillwater, who plays bass guitar and does vocals, and Fleishman, of Wantage, who plays guitar and does vocals.

Said Krucinski of the band's continued popularity over the years, “It`s all about the people," Krucinski said of the band's continued popularity. "Playing the songs that people remember from a special time in heir life brings back good memories and makes people happy.”

Of the band's longevity, Krucinski said, “Band members have come and gone, for health and other reasons, but the band keeps playing on. We gain new members and they become a part of the Snake Oil Willie family. Frank DeBonis, our current bass player, is retiring from the band. This festival will be his last gig. Danny Pope, our old guitar player, will be taking over on bass. We’ll debut the new lineup at Lentini’s Corn Maze on Oct. 6.”

One of the band's biggest claims to fame is a little ditty they wrote called, “"I Don't Look Good Naked Anymore.” It's a truthful, fun song about getting older, and the world loves it. To date, it's received over 14 million views (and counting).

As to Saturday's performance at the church, Krucinski said, “[Fleishman] is a member of the church. He asked if we’d help with the event and we were all 100 percent supportive. I met the Father Gregory White, and he wants this to be a community event and a fun time. It’s outdoors in a beautiful location on Route 284, just a mile from Sussex Borough.”

The festival runs from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., this Saturday, Sept. 29, and noon-4 p.m. on Sunday, September 30th. Snake Oil Willie Band will perform Saturday night from 6-8 p.m.

On Sunday, from 1-3 p.m., Culver Gap, a bluegrass trio, will be performing. Culver Gap features three well-known area musicians — Peter Lister on bass, Jerry Hoffman on guitar, and Mike Alexander on mandolin. Fleishman will also be performing sets of renaissance lute music in the afternoon both days.

In addition to all the music, there will be many fine vendors, and plenty of food — home-baked goods, homemade Slavic food, as well as hamburgers, hot sausage, and various other items.

Find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/holyspiritorthodoxnj/or https://www.holyspiritorthodox.org/ or call 973-702-0622.

The Festival will be held on the grounds of Holy Spirit Orthodox Church is located at 102 Route 284 in Wantage.



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