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Birmingham Ethnic Festival honors ODOT, workers


Visitors to the 33rd Annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival (East Toledo) on Sunday, August 19, 2007, will have a chance to see the old neighborhood from soaring new heights.


The newly opened Veterans’ Glass City Skyway Bridge will bring visitors directly into the Birmingham neighborhood. Visitors can view the new bridge from the Birmingham neighborhood at the Maumee River Crossing Observation area behind the fire station on Consaul and Front Streets.  

The festival is held from
noon to 9:00 p.m. on Consaul Street in East Toledo’s Birmingham neighborhood.


Pre-festival events include the 12th Annual Waiter’s Race on Saturday, August 18, 2007, at 7:00 pm on Consaul Street.  In the European tradition, teams of wait staff from neighborhood taverns and non-profit organizations compete in a relay race. The 2007 contestants include Tony Packo’s restaurant, VFW 4906, Rumpus Room/East Side Raiders, Ironworkers, Waite Coaches, the Bowling Green State University Women’s Basketball Team, and the Hungarian Club.


Following the Waiter’s Race, guests can learn Hungarian dance steps at a dance party featuring Foklor Tanc haz from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at Calvin Church’s parking lot.  The Gyanta Band will perform Hungarian folk dance and music. Hungarian foods include gulyas soup and palacsinta (Hungarian crepes). 


The kickoff for the festival begins with Opening Ceremonies at noon on the steps of St. Stephen’s Church, followed by a parade down the Festival Mall.


On Sunday, visitors can choose from a huge variety of foods. St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, the Hungarian Club of Toledo and Calvin United Church of Christ will feature their famous chicken paprikas, kaposta galuska, and kolbasz dinners along with Hungarian pastries, paprikas noodles and gravy, kolbasz sandwiches, stuffed cabbages, and szalonna sütes.


VFW Post 4906 will serve shish kabob, pigs-in-a-blanket, bratwurst, corn on the cob, and szalonna sütes. Patrons can also choose from street vendor fare including potato pancakes, pierogis, chicken and Greek sausage pitas, curly fries, grilled chicken, barbecue chicken & ribs, cotton candy, pizza, and gelato ice cream.

Imagenes Mexicanas part of festival


Entertainment will be available throughout the festival and includes the Kodaly Ensemble of Toronto, Szikra Citera Egyuttes, Cspike Ensemble, Rublin Rhythm Cloggers, Csaladi Ensemble, and Imagenes Mexicanas.  Special musical guests include the Gyanta Band which features seven musicians and dancers from Montreal and Toronto. Also performing will be SHOUT!, a Beatles-tribute band, and the Bridges Band.

Along with entertainment, festival guests can shop for imported Hungarian embroidery and other ethnic items offered by Magyar Marketing. An arts and crafts area featuring at least 13 different crafters includes Hungarian dolls and bears, quilted handbags, soy candles, jewelry, sand art, ceramics, paintings, shirts, silk floral arrangements, wall hangings, hand blown glass and more! A special handmade quilt will be raffled off by Promise Quilters to raise money for breast cancer research.

The Friends of the Birmingham Community Award is being bestowed on the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for their role in bringing new life to the Birmingham Neighborhood with the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway bridge. The award is given to an individual, organization or corporation that has provided exemplary support to the
Birmingham community. 

This year’s Birmingham festival is dedicated to all of the workers of the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway bridge project.


For more information, please visit our Web site at www.birminghamfestival.org.







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