The ninth annual Cultural Festival at the Soyuzivka Ukrainian Heritage Center takes place this weekend, July 10 through 12: a three-day zabava guaranteed to make you feel it. Nonstop music will be provided by Svitanok (a/k/a the Liquid Gypsies, their nighttime guise taken on when performing in bars, clubs and other non-Uke venues), the Zabava Band (purported to be the best music group of the Ukrainian diaspora) and Dzidzio (a raucous and irreverent trio that does not bore its audiences). Also onstage: Pavlo Tabakov, the Women’s Bandurist Ensemble, the Dumka Chorus, the Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company and more. A Ukrainian Village Exhibit, a verenyky eating contest, lots of food and fun, a special Fundraising Gala Reception under the stars on Friday and a Young Artists’ Concert on Sunday round out the weekend.
Throughout the year, Soyuzivka holds youth camps, cultural workshops, heritage awareness programs, courses on folk dancing and sports and activities for both young and old. So, what is this zabava, you ask? The Urban Dictionary defines zabava as being a huge party with dancing and lots of drinking – as in, “Hey buddy, are you going to the zabava this week?” In Ulster County, the Ukrainian community works to perpetuate the culture of the old country through education and celebration – which might well include dancing and throwing a few back now and then. But the heritage, the language, the traditions and values run deep, and the pride of culture shines bright – especially at the Cultural Festival, organized by the Ukrainian National Foundation (UNF) and held in Kerhonkson each year. Don’t miss it.
Ukrainian Cultural Festival, Friday, July 10, 6 p.m., Saturday/Sunday, July 11/12, 12 noon, $30 admission/$200 Friday Fundraising Gala, Soyuzivka Heritage Center, 216 Foordmore Road, Kerhonkson; (845) 626-5641, extension 140, www.soyuzivka.com/cultural-festival.html.