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‘A Sunday in the Old Country’ at the Birmingham Ethnic Fest, Aug. 16


The 35th Annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival will be held on Sunday, August 16, 2009 on the streets of the old Hungarian neighborhood in East Toledo. The festival will be held from Noon to 9:00 PM on Consaul Street in the middle of East Toledo’s Birmingham neighborhood.


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


Visitors can choose from a huge variety of foods at the festival. 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.


Entertainment will be provided by the Pál Family Orchestra from Hungary, among others. The Pál Family Orchestra Concerts offers musical experiences venturing into traditional authentic village music, popular Hungarian music in the “Gypsy” tradition, with a wonderful touch of choral works and samplings of appropriate classical music.


Also providing entertainment in the Calvin United, St. Stephen’s and VFW lots will be Ballet Folklorico Imagenes Mexicanas, Csipke Children’s Group, Dayton Hungarian Dancers, Molly’s Irish Dancers, Echoes of Poland, and Leyla & Lapis Lazuli. Check the festival program book for exact times of the performances in each lot.


This year’s Birmingham Festival is dedicated to the 65th year of the VFW Post 4906. Admission is free. Street parking is available on the perimeter of the neighborhood bounded by Front, York and Wheeling streets.  Handicapped parking is available in the lot behind the fire station at Consaul and Front streets.


Pre-festival events include: the 14th Annual Waiter’s Race on Saturday, August 15th at 7 PM on Consaul Street. In the European tradition, teams of wait staff from neighborhood taverns and non-profit organizations compete in a relay race.


Following the Waiter’s Race, guests can enjoy a celebration of Hungarian Folk Dance and music at the Foklor Tanchaz with the Pál Family Orchestra from 7 PM to 10 PM in the Calvin United Church parking lot. Hungarian foods, including gulyas soup and palacsinta (Hungarian crepes) and a beer garden at Calvin as well as a fish fry at the VFW Post 4906 will round out the evening.






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