The 39th Annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival will take place on Consaul Street and throughout the Birmingham neighborhood on August 17-18, 2013. The festival will be open from noon to 10 pm on Saturday and from noon until 9 pm on Sunday.
According to Betsy Ujvagi , Birmingham Festival Committee secretary, the festival this year has gone to a two day event in response to requests from vendors and visitors alike.
“We had vendors and people asking for the last few years to make the festival a two-day event,” Ujvagi said. “The festival is always very popular with thousands of visitors. Now that it is two days, we expect even more people to come and enjoy our neighborhood.” This family event will feature Hungarian and ethnic foods, arts and crafts exhibits, cultural displays, and a wide variety of music, dance and continuous entertainment. St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, the Hungarian Club of Toledo, VFW Post 4906 and Calvin United Church of Christ will feature their famous chicken paprikas and kolbasz dinners, as well as Hungarian pastries, paprikas noodles & gravy, kolbasz sandwiches, stuffed cabbages, and szalona sutes, otherwise known as Hunky Turkey.
There will also be several other vendors providing a wide array of food items including Opa! Cuisine, A&M Concession, Old World Foods, K&K Concession, Sno Biz, Berry’s Goods, Rader Enterprise and Jeanie’s Weenies.
“The food and the beer has always been a big draw to the festival,” Ujvagi said. “Every year, the festival keeps getting bigger. More and more people are coming every year now and learning about Birmingham.”
The entertainment also brings in the crowds, Ujvagi said.
“We really have a little bit of something for everyone,” she said. “We have Hungarian dancers and bands, Irish dancers, the Cake Walkin’ Jass Band, and we will have Shout- a Beatles Tribute band on Saturday.”
The 19th Annual Waiters Race will take place on Saturday at 4 p.m., at the VFW, Ujvagi said adding the race has been opened up to organizations outside of the Birmingham neighborhood.
Arts and crafts will also be sold including Hungarian, Indian, African and American Indian jewelry, clothing, etc.
A special tour of the Magyar Gardin will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Located at 2353 York Street, the garden features a Monarch Butterfly Way station, community garden vegetable plots, an insect hotel and a working beehive. Visitors may also purchase honey and lavender sachets that were created from the garden.
On Sunday, a Recognition Ceremony will be held at noon on the steps of St. Stephen’s Church, beginning with a flag raising ceremony. There will also be an announcement of the recipient of the Birmingham Friend of the Neighborhood Award, recognition of local and international guests, and the presentation of the Beer Keg Trophy to the winner of the Waiters Race. “I am not surprised that the festival has become a very popular event,” Ujvagi said. “The reason we have the festival is to celebrate and show who we are as a community. People from outside the neighborhood get to see who we are and that is the best thing possible.”