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Oodles of noodles -- St. Wenceslaus makes homemade noodles for spring fundraiser

There's no shortage of noodles being made at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Dickinson. This year, like every year, St Wenceslaus is marrying fundraising with a seasonal celebration of spring, and that means that well over a dozen volunteers to...

Cheryl Ridl has been helping make noodles for the St. Wenceslaus Spring Festival for over 30 years. (Iain Woessner / The Dickinson Press)
Cheryl Ridl has been helping make noodles for the St. Wenceslaus Spring Festival for over 30 years. (Iain Woessner / The Dickinson Press)

There's no shortage of noodles being made at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Dickinson. This year, like every year, St Wenceslaus is marrying fundraising with a seasonal celebration of spring, and that means that well over a dozen volunteers took to work on a crisp clear Saturday morning, carrying on a pasta tradition that's spanned the decades.

"Every year we do a (Welcome Back) Spring Festival as a fundraiser for the church. The meal will be right here in the gym. We make homemade noodles for our chicken noodle soup," Cheryl Ridl, who was in charge of organizing the event this year. "We make the broth from scratch and we make the noodles from scratch. We start the meal with soup and then we have deep-fried turkey, roast beef, scalloped potatoes."

This sumptuous spread has been a tradition for many years, Ridl said. She's been involved for around 30 years-she got started when her children were still in school.

"My kids went to school here and I started when my third child was a sixth-grader," Ridl said. "She's 39 years -old now, so it's been quite awhile."

There's a strong family spirit at work in the lower levels of Trinity Elementary East, where the volunteers set to task of rolling flat thick balls of dough, and flattening them further still so they can get the dough thin enough to cut. Volunteers used tools and pasta makers to ensure that by day's end, the fat chunks of dough were made into thousands of fine noodles.

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"When we were raised they were called "soup noodles," but you can use 'em for other things," Ridl said. "They're basically eggs, flour and that's the basics, eggs and flour. They're going to be very fine."

Diane Hoyt is another longtime volunteer with the spring festival, and this year she roped a lot of her own family in to join in the fun.

"We made noodles for Mardis Gras back in the early '70s. I love it," Hoyt said. "It's such a great way to visit with everybody ... it's a great gift. Once you learn it's a great gift. This is my granddaughter and husband and my daughter, so we're three generations making noodles."

There were groups of siblings, married couples, parents and children-many working hands coming together to make sure this spring festival is as good as all the others.

"Everybody is welcome. They'll have bingo and they'll have little games for the kids. St. Anne's will have a craft booth and ... they'll sell extra noodles at the craft booth," Ridl said. "The day before-the spring festival will be on a Saturday-the day before or the Friday before we have a big group that will make kolache. That's a roll, from the Chech heritage, and it's just a dough with filling. We'll have three different kinds. We'll have poppyseed, apricot and prune."

The festival will be held on April 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Meal tickets will be $12 for adults, $5 for kids 6-10 and $3 for children under 5 years old.

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