Rain showers don’t dampen colorful Slavic Festival

Although the rain poured mid day, there was still plenty to see, do, and eat at this outer East Portland Russian fest …

Guests are welcomed to the 7th Annual Portland Slavic Festival, again held in outer East Portland in Lents Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Storm clouds rolled in on the morning of July 25, as the 7th Annual Portland Slavic Festival got underway in Lents Park.

That first festival took place back in September of 2009 in Milwaukie, moved to historic Oaks Amusement Park in 2012, and finally found a “permanent home” in Lents Park in 2013.

Braving the elements, these students of the Slavic Christian Academy perform.

Under umbrellas, guests watch and enjoy the live entertainment.

“The festival is prepared in collaboration with a number of churches in the city,” said Slavic Festival in Oregon President of the Board of Directors Galina Nekrasov. “The festival also receives the support of the leaders of the city.”

The purpose of the Slavic Festival, Nekrasov said, is to provide a friendly place where the Russian language is spoken – and where families who now make their homes in Portland can celebrate their native languages, cultures, and traditions.

New this year, Russian-made tractors, SUVs, and other cars are on display – at the Portland Slavic Festival.

Victor Kornuada proudly stands with his 1988 Lada, a Russian-made car. With over 20 million units sold before production ended in mid-2012, it had become the highest-selling automobile to be produced without a major design change.

The theme of this year’s festival was “Why do we love our city?” On stage, entertainers from the Slavic community spoke and performed, many in the beautiful costumes of their native land.

Performing at the Slavic Festival, from the All American Magic Theater, is master magician Mark Benthimer.

Alex Suprunyuk prepares favorite Russian foods for Odessa Kitchen.

As the rain tapered off, more folks came to the park. And, that evening, there was a “Movie in the Park”, featuring Disney Animation’s Wreck-It Ralph – in Russian, with English subtitles – on the big Portland Parks outdoor screen.

“We thank the support of many organizations,” Nekrasov said. “This includes the Woodland Park Neighborhood Association, East Portland Action Plan, East Portland Neighbors, Inc., and Sergei Rudnicki and K.”

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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