Even as the war in their homeland continues, local Ukrainians plan to hold a “Celebration of Liberty and Unity” Folk Festival to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence and raise money for their beleaguered countrymen.
Spokesman Eugene Luciw called the upcoming festival “exciting, spectacular, dazzling, breathtaking, exhilarating, spirited, soulful, enchanting, captivating, and intriguing,” as well as “cultural fireworks.”
He said the traditional colorful clothing, music, dancing, foods, arts and crafts will be displayed at the folk festival.
“We have just gone past 500 days of the Russian war and genocide upon Ukraine,” Luciw said. While it is “difficult to think of a celebration,” holding it and “cherishing our culture are also important.”
While Russia claims Ukraine is not an independent country, it is older than Russia and has its own language, culture, art, food, and traditions, he said. “We are a separate people, and we demonstrate that in bold relief.”
It is also important to show “our neighbors who we are and get to know what is happening in Europe. Ukraine is fighting for independence and freedom,” Luciw said. They are the same values the United States and Western Europe hold dear and that “Ukraine is fighting for today.”
Attendees will be steeped in Ukrainian culture by savoring the rich color and deep symbolism of the delicate “pysanka” (Ukrainian Easter egg) and the power, rhythm, and strength of “Hopak” –called the world’s most exciting ethnic dance and every brilliant “Kolomiyka” (polka) and soulful folk song in between. It will be an experience not to be missed, he said.
Ukrainian crafts, such as embroidered clothing, will be sold at a bazaar, and traditional Ukrainian foods, baked goods, barbeque pit, and cool drinks will be served.
Performers include Ukrainian Superstar pop singer-songwriter Iryna Lonchyna; the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance ensemble, the Carpathia Folk Dance Ensemble; singer Yuliya Stupen; violinist Innesa Tymochko Dekajlo; the Ferko Mummers String Band; the Ariana Lem Joy Trio; and the Vox Ethnika Band. Also, the Banner of Jasna Gora Monastery will be displayed. The concert runs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The Ukrainian Folk Festival 2023 will be held Sunday, August 27, 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Ukrainian American Sports Center –Tryzub, County Line and Lower State roads in Horsham.
Admission (open to the general public, at the gate only): $15 ($2 of each paid admission will be donated to Humanitarian Relief of Victims of War in Ukraine). Kids under 15 are free. Parking is free. For information: (267) 664-3857.