38th annual Carpatho-Rusyn Celebration set for Oct. 27

Photos from last year’s Carpatho-Rusyn Celebration at St. John the Baptist in Uniontown, Pa.

The 38th Annual CarpathoRusyn Celebration will take place noon-6 p.m. Oct. 27 at St. John the Baptist, 201 East Main St., Uniontown, Pa.

The day will feature the heritage of the CarpathoRusyns who come from the very heart of Europe, along the northern and southern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains.

Their homeland, known as “Carpathian-Rus,” is situated at the crossroads where the borders of Slovakia, Ukraine,
and Poland meet. Aside from these countries, there are smaller groups of Rusyns in Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and the Czech Republic. In no country do the Carpatho-Rusyns have an administratively distinct territory.

It is immigrants from the Carpathian-Rus’, who came to the United States in the early 1900s, settled in this area, worked in the mills and mines, and started several churches, one being St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church. The CarpathoRusyns, though a Slavic group, have distinct differences in language, customs, music,
dance, fold crafts, and foods. These immigrants brought their traditions with them and maintained them, particularly those in their church life, which was of utmost importance to them.

The day will highlight various aspects of CarpathoRusyn culture. Mouthwatering foods such as pirohi, holubki, halushki, kolbasi and sauerkraut, nalesniki (potato pancakes), soup and more. There will also be a variety of baked goods including kolachi (apricot, nut, poppyseed, and cottage cheese rolls), pagach, breads, cookies, candy, and much more.

The Carpatho-Rusyn Celebration will be a blending of spiritual and cultural traditions of the Rusyn people. A Divine Liturgy 5:30 p.m. Saturday, October 26 will include a blessing for the event and festival workers. There will be a Divine Liturgy at 9 a.m. Oct. 27.

There will be ongoing entertainment which includes music, folk dancing and singing, demonstrations, videos, displays and presentations. A folk musical group will perform folk, czardas, polka music at 12:30 and 4 p.m. Slavjane Folk Ensemble dancers and musicians from Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, McKees Rocks, Pa.,
will perform at 3 p.m. with their lively and energetic songs and dances.

Information on various topics such as Carpatho-Rusyn family customs, both secular and religious, genealogy and tracing cultural roots, and recent trips to the Carpathian homeland will be available. At 1 p.m. there will be a speaking and/or video presentation by John Righetti, formerly of Monessen, Pa. which will focus on Rusyn
customs and culture. At 4 p.m., a speaking and/or video presentation by John will focus on the current status of Rusyns in America and in the Rusyn homeland. There will be videos of Carpatho-Rusyn culture and customs, and iconography. Members of the CarpathoRusyn Society will also be on hand to answer questions about genealogy as well as having a Rusyn Marketplace with books, CDs, DVDs and folk art items available. The program is subject to change.

Once again there will be the fun-filled children’s activities room where children can experience the Rusyn culture through storytelling, and making folk craft projects such as decorated eggs, bookmarks, decorating cookies, coloring sheets, and more. This year’s activities will focus on folk arts, especially egg art. There will also be demonstrations of pysanky (egg decorating), folk embroidery, bobbin lace making, and woodburning, which are traditional folk crafts of the Carpatho-Rusyns as well as iconography. A display by the Carpatho-Rusyn Society will include costumes, striking photographs of Rusyn folk life, crafts, religious artifacts, DVDs, small models of historic Rusyn wooden churches, and artifacts the Carpatho-Rusyn heritage. During a church tour visitors may to view the threetier icon screen, many icons and outdoor shrine at St. John. A pictorial display through powerpoint and visuals will depict the span of 37 years of the Carpatho-Rusyn Celebration at St. John’s.

Tables of crafts for sale will include contemporary crafts as well as traditional CarpathoRusyn folk crafts. The contemporary crafts include secular and religious items, fall decorations, Christmas items, and much more. The folk crafts of the Rusyns include pysanky (decorated eggs), embroideries such as those used to cover Easter baskets to be blessed, wood burned icons and icon ornaments, greeting cards, and other articles. Many raffles include Steeler memorabilia, folk art and craft items including Christmas, and much more. The Carpathian Cookery Cookbook of St. John’s parish in its 18th printing will be once again available having sold over 17,000 copies.The day will be one full of color, life, and music for family entertainment. There is no admission charge. Handicapped accessible. The pastor is Father Ronald P. Larko.

For information call 724-438-6027 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday to Friday (leave message)