(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The annual Troika Festival is back on for 2023. The festival is a celebration of Russian culture and had been tabled in 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing war.
In fact, a typical Troika Festival in Erie has been set back for several years. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic saw the festival — and other cultural celebrations throughout Erie and essentially worldwide — canceled entirely. Then, in 2021, the pandemic persisted and Troika was a take-out celebration, with favorite cultural dishes ordered ahead.
In 2022, the Troika Festival was set to return for its first year following the pandemic, until the Russia-Ukraine war launched in late February of that year. A social media post to the Troika Festival page said: “It is with great disappointment that we must confirm the cancellation of Troika 2022. After much discussion and debate, we simply arrived at the decision that we could not hold a festive celebration when so many people are suffering in Ukraine. We will continue to pray for peace during these dark days and hope that 2023 will bring an end to this terrible war. We thank the Erie community for your support and your understanding.”
The war has not ended, but Troika is back on.
The 2023 Troika Festival will be 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 26, noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. That’s Memorial Day weekend. The festival will be at the Church of the Nativity Community Center, 109 German St. in Erie.
Funds raised through the festival will go to support church operations, the church’s food pantry, maintaining and upgrading the community center (which also serves as a homeless shelter in the winter), and to help beautify the East Bayfront neighborhood, according to the group’s Facebook announcement.