The 44th annual Lorain International Festival spotlights Hungarian and LCCC
A special reunion is planned for Lorainites in “Back to Lorain” event
By Ingrid Marie Rivera, La Prensa Correspondent
LORAIN, June 21, 2010: It is Lorain’s signature event that began 44 years ago, attracting thousands every year. Get ready; the annual Lorain International Festival kicks off its week-long festivities this week, running from Monday, June 21 until June 27, 2010.
The International Festival and Bazaar is an opportunity to showcase the over 50 nationalities and ethnicities present in Lorain - also known as the International City.
The Hungarian nationality will be spotlighted this year; the spotlight industry is Lorain County Community College.
This year’s International Officers are: President - Palma Stipe; Vice President – Nicole Soto; Treasurer – Carol Bruening; and Secretary – Cyndi Kramer.
The popular festival, which attracted 80,000 people for the three-day weekend festivities alone last year, already attracts plenty of people throughout and outside the state. But this year, a special call has been made to former and present Lorainites.
Dave Zanoni is planning a reunion as he hopes former Lorainites will revisit Lorain during the festival. He and several others created the Facebook group “Back to Lorain, Ohio June 2010,” to advertise the reunion, that now has over 2,100 members. The reunion originally was set for the festival’s weekend but has been extended to the entire week, and the group will have its own tent at the festival.
“Many of Lorain’s residents left the city due to tough economic times. Like me, many former residents left not by choice but rather by necessity,” Zanoni wrote on the group’s Web site. “We left behind a city that was a wonderful place to have grown-up in.”
He added, “The purpose of this event is to get back together all former residents of Lorain together for a week of fun!”
The festival, taking place along the Black River Landing and at Veteran’s Park, will feature over 40 food vendors with a wide variety of ethnic cuisine, cultural booths featuring crafts and other items from different countries around the world, inflatables for children and live entertainment.
Entertainment includes: the McGuffey Lane - an energetic band performing for more than 25 years, Harmonia - a multi-cultural group of musicians performing on authentic folk instruments, Direct Energy - Ohio’s premier horn-driven rock, funk and soul band, and Aquarius Rising - a 12-piece pop orchestra.
A pageant also takes place every year on Thursday. This year, 28 princesses from 12 nationalities will be competing for one of the four court positions including queen, 1st Runner-up, 2nd Runner-up, and 3rd Runner-up.
This year’s admission cost for the weekend festival bazaar is $2. For the first-time ever, wrist bands that prove the visitor is the legal 21 years of age or older will be required in order to enter the alcoholic beverages booth. The wrist band requirement is an effort to reduce underage drinking at festivals that serve alcohol.
The week-long events include:
Monday, June 21:
Lorain International Breakfast: Begins at 8am at DeLuca’s Place in the Park, 6075 Middle Ridge Road, Lorain. Cost to enter is $10 donation.
Lorain County Community College will have an Open House tour of its facilities and ice cream social from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the LCCC Learning Center at St. Joseph Community Center, 205 W. 20th Street, Lorain.
An Outdoor Band Concert will take place at the Veteran’s Park, West Erie Avenue and Washington Avenue, Lorain, at 7 p.m., featuring Hungarian-inspired music. Free Admission.
Tuesday, June 22:
Heritage of Sacred Music will take place at the Lorain Palace Theatre, 617 Broadway Avenue, Lorain, at 7:15 p.m., featuring songs of worship with an international flair from multiple congregations in Lorain. Free admission.
Wednesday, June 23:
The Spotlight Nationality Cultural Night will spotlight the Hungarian culture at the Lorain Palace Civic Theatre, from 6 p.m. until 12 a.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Lorain Palace Theatre or online at lorainpalace.com
Thursday, June 24:
Princess Pageant will take place at 7 p.m. at the Palace Theatre, 617 Broadway Avenue, Lorain. Tickets are $11, Seniors $10, Children 6 and under: free. Tickets can be purchased at Lorain Palace Theatre.
Friday to Sunday, June 25-27:
Lorain International Bazaar will take place at the Black River Landing in Lorain, Friday from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is $2 each day.
Lorain International Parade will take place, Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on Broadway Avenue from 17th Street to West Erie in Lorain. It will be led by Grand Marshal, Roy A. Church, president of Lorain County Community College, and Honorary Marshals, John Peters and Madga Koos, of the Hungarian Community. Master of Cermonies, Don Nickerson, will announce over 100 participants and introduce the 2010 Lorain International Queen and her court.
Contact Info: Tickets, 440-233-7493 or 440-864-5446. Palace: 440-245-2323.
Highlights from 2009 Festival: https://laprensatoledo.com/Stories/2009/070309/IntFest.htm
For more information, see the Lorain International Festival web site: http://www.loraininternational.com/ Visit also Back to Lorain’s web site: http://www.backtolorain.com/