East Village, Manhattan – The annual Saint George Ukrainian Festival in the East Village's "Little Ukraine", featured on the Emmy-winning NYC Media's "Bare Feet" highlight of immigrant cultural life in the City, holds the distinction of being the oldest and largest Ukrainian folk dance festival outside of Ukraine.
The festival routinely draws several thousand down to the East Village every year. The festival has been featured in books such as The Suburbanization of New York as an example of a city festival that "still reflects any sense of place".
This year's festival will run from Friday evening, May 19, through late afternoon Sunday, May 21, with stage performances featuring folk dancing and singing beginning on: May 19 - 6:00 p.m., May 20 - 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., and May 21 - 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.
A KidsZone will be active on Saturday and Sunday, with activities for children including Ukrainian art-making stations and face painting.
Tens of thousands of sought-after Ukrainian dumplings have been prepared in advance by church volunteers. in addition to these 'varenyky', there will also be plenty of cabbage rolls (holubtsi), beet soup (borsch), sausage (kobasa) and sauerkraut for sale. NYC favorite Veselka Restaurant will also be on hand all weekend long with some of their favorite Ukrainian menu items.
The festival will occupy all of East 7th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, bordered at its West end by Taras Shevchenko Place, a small street connecting East 6th and East 7th Streets. In the United States, it is the only such street officially named after Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), the "National Bard of Ukraine".
Saint George Ukrainian Catholic Church, located at 30 East 7th Street, was founded in the East Village in 1905. The church has sponsored an annual festival since the very first one in 1976, then officially a co-celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial and 100 years of Ukrainian immigration to America.
Additional information on the customs and origins related to the festival is available through the following links: http://nyti.ms/1Ti4JJV and http://nyti.ms/1ikdVwN
Source: The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America