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11th Annual Slavic Festival Sunday

Members of Saints Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church will celebrate their faith and their Eastern European heritage
Members of Saints Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church will celebrate their faith and their Eastern European heritage when the parish holds its 11th Annual Slavic Festival on Sunday, September 14, 2014. Since 2004, the parish has welcomed over 7500 visitors to the event, including many who attend annually.

The day begins with a Welcome Divine Liturgy, celebrating the feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, at 11 am by the Very Reverend John J. Mihalco. Doors at the Social Center open at Noon and festivities continue until 7 pm. Admission and parking are free, and activities are provided for children. All venues are handicap accessible.

Food offerings include a selection of Eastern European items: Halupki, Haluski, Pirohi, Pagach, Kolbassi, Jellied Pig’s Feet, and more. Patrons can purchase the Slavic Sampler, Mini-Sampler, or build their own meal of ala carte items. Indoor and outdoor dining areas are provided and takeout is also available. Parishioners work for weeks to prepare the ethnic dishes, many of which are made only once each year.

The Bake Sale area offers single serve desserts, ethnic delicacies, homemade pies, and other pastries. Nutrolls in various flavors (nut, poppy seed, apricot, prune, apricot-nut, and cranberry) are also available for purchase, as are a limited quantity of frozen entrees (pirohi, haluski). Nutroll orders may also be placed for the holidays.

Coffee and Hot Tea are complimentary and served at the tables in the Social Center dining area. Other beverages - soda, water, iced tea, wine by the glass, draft and ethnic bottled beer - are available for purchase.

Entertainment includes music by the Mar-Vels Polka band, with a dance floor for those wishing to join in the festivities. Living Traditions Dance Ensemble will return again this year. Their ethnic dancing, which highlights youth dancers at times, draws a crowd each year. New additions to the entertainment schedule are music by Polka Relations and a performance by the WiWaty dancers, both of whom are local to the Erie area.

Patrons can purchase chances on one of our cash prizes for only $1 each. We will award 4 $50 prizes, 2 $100 prizes and a grand prize of $500 cash. A gift basket giveaway (Chinese type auction) is also featured, with a special grand prize entry for those who purchase an entire sheet of basket chances. This year we are offering a two night package at Fairway Suites in Clymer, NY, with chances sold for $5. Winners do not need to be present to win any of the raffle prizes.

Ethnic and religious displays are prominent, including an exhibit by the Carpatho-Rusyn Society. The Saints Peter and Paul Church is open all day for visitation or reflection, and formal tours are scheduled for 1:45 pm and 4:45 pm. Before the parish celebrated their centennial in 2012, the church interior had been formally renovated in 2006. A traditional carved wooden icon screen was installed, along with hand-crafted Byzantine icons.

Proceeds from the Festival support the charitable works of the parish and the Saints Peter and Paul religious education program. Local organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank and Emmaus Ministries have been recent recipients of grants from Festival proceeds.

Parishioners of Saints Peter and Paul enjoy welcoming guests to this annual festival, and are proud to share information about Eastern European traditions and heritage. All members of the community are encouraged to share a day of food, faith and fellowship at the 11th Annual Slavic Festival.
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