‘Slavic Fest’ staged in Lents

Take a look at the 6th edition of a colorful festival by and for the outer East Portland Russian-speaking community …

As the summer sun beats down, the shade of trees in Lents Park offers refuge to those attending the Sixth Annual Slavic Festival.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Speaking the Russian language wasn’t required to attend the Sixth Annual Slavic Festival, held in Lents Park on July 26.

“A major theme of this year’s festival is celebrating the history of the great State of Oregon and how the Slavic people contribute to Oregon’s growth, development, and culture,” said the organizer, Galina Nekrasova.

On-stage hostess and performer Rachael Lekherzak sings a Russian song.

The event, presented primarily through the auspices of the Association of Slavic Immigrants of the United States, of which Nekrasova is President, offered children’s activities, music, and dance performances from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Ringing the festival area were vendors and organizations in booths, offering information from businesses, community groups, and nonprofit organizations.

Flame-grilling chicken is Sergei Gavrishov.

Continuous presentations at the Lents Park gazebo stage featured cultural dance numbers, musical presentations, martial arts demonstrations, and even public officials’ speeches, for the hundreds of people who gathered for the day-long celebration.

All of the activities were free, with food available for purchase. Performers and presenters represented Oregon historical persons, and celebrated the history of the State of Oregon and the City of Portland.

Direct from the Russian Community Center of Seattle, the folk dance group Alenushka is about to perform.

And, that evening, the Portland Parks & Recreation “Movie in the Parks” team presented the World War II story action film released in 2012, White Tiger – in Russian, with English subtitles.

“We want to be with our community, and involved in our community,” Nekrasova told East Portland News. “When we come together, we have friendship with everyone.”

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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