How did we miss this spectacular event! What a great event for
Ukrainian adoptive parents and children. I went last year with my
Ukrainian adopted son and we had a great time. I would have loved
to see the varenyky-eating contest! Put this on your calendars
for next year!
Cultural festival offers food and plenty of fun on Saturday, Oct.
6 in NJ
Jennifer L. Nelson
For the Daily Record
When: 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6Where: 60 North
Jefferson Road, Whippany, NJAdmission: FreeInfo:
Be Ukrainian for a day at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center
of New Jersey's (UACCNJ) third annual festival, taking place
Saturday, Oct. 6.
The first festival was held in 2010, with the goal of raising
funds for the non-profit UACCNJ as well as exposing the local
community to Ukrainian culture and sharing what the organization
has to offer. The festival draws approximately 1,000 visitors
"We hope local residents can develop an appreciation for the
effort that Ukrainian-Americans make in keeping the culture and
traditions of their ancestral homeland alive, whether it's
through dance, music, or food," said Christine Syzonenko,
This year, there will be performances by five dance ensembles,
including the Iskra Dance Academy and the Iskra Dance Ensemble,
both of which rehearse at the center.
"Ukrainian dance is a blend of ballet, character and folk dance
with incredible feats of athleticism," said Oksana
Lodziuk-Krywulych, festival co-chair.
Vocal and instrumental musicians will also perform. One performer
will play the bandura, the national instrument of Ukraine.
"The stage shows are always a big hit with audiences, as our
Ukrainian dancers are definitely a sight to be seen," Syzonenko
Local residents will have an opportunity to sample traditional
Ukrainian foods, including varenyky (pierogies), potato dumplings
typically served with sour cream and fried onions; borsht,
traditional Ukrainian beet soup; Holubtsi, cabbage rolls with
meat and rice filling; Kovbasa, spicy sausage; and Kapusta,
A café will offer traditional homemade pastries and tortes like
traditional honey cake and strudel. There will be a pig roast,
and hot dogs and hamburgers will also be served.
Guests may also enjoy Ukrainian beers from an international beer
Participants 18 and up may compete in a varenyky-eating contest
to see who can eat the most in two minutes.
The family-friendly event will include carnival-style games and
activities for children.
"We hope everyone comes with their families to enjoy the
festival," Lodziuk-Krywulych said. "Whether watching our artistic
programs or sampling our traditional ethnic foods, we hope people
can gain a better understanding of our beautiful Ukrainian
Shopping opportunities will abound; various items and crafts will
be available for purchase, including books, jewelry and CDs and
"There will be many vendors for those who like to shop, games for
youngsters, and of course lots of food and drink," Syzonenko
The festivities will end with a traditional Ukrainian "zabava"
(dance) in the main hall of the center. The dance will begin at 8
p.m. There will be a charge of $5 for the evening dance for
individuals ages 21 and over. The band will play a blend of
traditional Ukrainian melodies with a mix of contemporary music.
All proceeds from the festival will support the various cultural
and children's programs offered at the center.
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