Toledo marks eastern European heritage

Festival of India also takes place this weekend

8/15/2013
BY ROD LOCKWOOD
BLADE STAFF WRITER

It’s time to take a trip to exotic locales where the food is spicy, the traditions are rooted in old world and eastern sensibilities, and the fun is doled out in all-day servings.

The best thing is, you don’t even have to leave Lucas County.

This weekend provides the perfect confluence of ethnic events with the Birmingham Ethnic Festival and the Festival of India taking place. It’s easy enough to go to both, so don’t stress the planning.

PEACH WEEKENDER: Find things to do, places to eat, music to hear, and more

Here’s the rundown:

The Birmingham festival is one of the city’s oldest, going into its 39th year. Billed as “A Weekend in the Old Country,” it celebrates the traditional eastern European neighborhood in the area of Consaul Street in East Toledo, and will be Saturday and Sunday.

One of the highlights is a chance to eat authentic Hungarian food such as chicken paprikas and kolbasz dinners, pastries, paprikas noodles and gravy, kolbasz sandwiches, stuffed cabbages, and szalona sutes.

Food is provided by St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, the Hungarian Club of Toledo, VFW Post 4906, and Calvin United Church of Christ.

Events kick off Saturday at noon with a parade led by the Cake Walkin’ Jass Band. Hungarian folk music and dancers will perform throughout the day and the Waiters’ Race will be held at 4 p.m.

Opening ceremonies on Sunday will be at St. Stephen’s church with the Gyanta Ensemble from 11 a.m. to noon.

Children’s activities will be provided both days. Hours are noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free both days. Information: birminghamethnicfest@gmail.com.

A festival-goer has a henna tattoo applied to her arm during the Festival of India last year.
A festival-goer has a henna tattoo applied to her arm during the Festival of India last year.

Festival of India

This weekend’s 24th annual festival at the Hindu Temple and Heritage Hall of Toledo, 4336 King Rd. will celebrate 25 traditional dances that pay tribute to Bollywood and a number of dance forms.

The dancers are all local temple members and friends who have been practicing for months. Dance forms will include traditional, semi-classical dances, Bhangra, and Bollywood dances. Participants will wear colorful costumes and jewelry.

The festival Saturday will feature Indian food from local and regional restaurants, a bazaar where jewelry, clothing, and other items are sold, and a number of cultural activities including the application of henna tattoos, children’s events, and religious ceremonies.

Festival of India hours are noon to 9 p.m. Saturday with dancing between 2 and 7:30 p.m. A dinner will be served Friday night at 7:15 and dancing and a music program will take place afterward. A dinner also will be held Sunday at noon. Tickets are required for the dinners.

Information: 440-220-0625.

Contact Rod Lockwood at: rlockwood@theblade.com or 419-724-6159.