Sunny skies grace Slavic Festival

From across the Pacific Northwest and from all points in metropolitan Portland, discover why this summer fair again attracted scores of visitors …

Ventura Park, situated in outer East Portland in the Hazelwood neighborhood, is again hosting the 2017 edition of the Slavic Festival.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Sunny skies graced Ventura Park again this year, as the Slavic Festival welcomed Russian, Ukrainian and Slavic people to their annual two-day celebration.

This year, the main stage was set up in the covered play pavilion adjoining Ventura Park Elementary School; and the fair was set up to the south. Many vendors and exhibitors talked with guests as they strolled on the lawn.

Taking her first pony ride at the festival is Monique Wilson.

Watching the event unfold is festival Director Galina Viktorovna Nekrasova.

Organizing events, such as this festival, just comes naturally to her, remarked Galina Viktorovna Nekrasova, who moved to the United States in 2001 from St. Petersburg, Russia.

“The idea is to provide a welcoming 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,” Nekrasova told East Portland News.

Visitors enjoy looking at this giant Russian-made tractor, trucks, and cars.

Svetlana Tupikova offers traditional beef stew in a bread bowl at the “Russian Food” stand.

Musical and comedy duo “Misha and Moishe” entertain.

“The festival is prepared in collaboration with a number of churches in the city, as well as many other organizations, and with support from the East Portland Action Plan and East Portland Neighborhood Office,” said Nekrasova.

With their children learning and speaking the English language at school, the festival is a way for parents to help their children also connect with their cultural heritage, she pointed out.

A visitor stops to admire artwork created by children in the Slavic community.

“So many volunteers help out on the festival,” Nekrasova said – adding, “seeing everyone here makes good feelings in me.”

> On our Front Page: Courtesy of Midland Regional Library, these costumed ladies present “Russian Story Time”.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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