‘Ukrainian Day 2023’ comes to East Portland

INCLUDES FESTIVE VIDEO | Take a look, and you’ll see why many outer East Portland Ukrainian families came to this cultural event …

Many people come to visit the vendors and exhibitors during “Ukrainian Day 2023”, held in Westmoreland Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Again this year, the location for “Ukrainian Day 2023”, held on August 26, was in Westmoreland Park, just south of the historic Casting Pond.

This is the second year they’ve held their celebration there; and the day included food sales, concerts, music, competitions, and booths – not only with vendors, but also with representatives of governmental and nonprofit organizations.

The food booths are popular gathering place – especially those in the shade – at this summertime festival in Westmoreland Park.

“We liked being in Westmoreland Park so much last year, we’re back!” exclaimed  organizer, Yuri Boyechko, President of the Ukrainian Foundation.

“When we formed our nonprofit organization in 2006, it was a different time, and we had different ideas of how to support Ukrainian people who have moved here,” Boyechko reflected to East Portland News.

Hear beautiful Ukrainian music played live, while seeing highlights of this festival:

“But now, since the war started, our mission has turned into helping the Ukrainian people living in Ukraine – by sending medical supplies, clothing, and other things that they need every day, right now,” Boyechko pointed out.

Although this particular Saturday was not only clear but very warm, that didn’t stop folks from coming to the festivities.

Most of them took shelter under one of the many canopies set up in park; others stayed cool in the shade of the park’s towering trees.

Well-known Ukrainian singer Inna Kovtun performs, accompanied by acclaimed bandurist Valentyn Lysenko.

A musical highlight of the day was Valentyn Lysenko, the inventor of the electric bandura (a Ukrainian mandolin-like string instrument). He was joined on stage by Inna Kovtun, a much-celebrated Ukrainian singer, and a researcher of her peoples’ ancient traditions, music, and folklore.

Vira Beralova is one of the many people dishing up food at the “Plenty Food Deli” stand for the many hungry festival-goers.

The food booths did a brisk business, enticing the crowd with the scent of the ethnic specialties cooking.

“The best thing that can come out of having this celebration today is money the money we’re raising here for our foundation’s work,” Boyechko remarked. “This is our biggest and most important fundraising event of the year – and we need a lot of money to help people in Ukraine.”

Selling her artwork – includingg this painting, entitled “Field with Corn flowers” – it’s Leeza Beth.

If you want to support the nonprofit 501(c)(3) Ukrainian Foundation, do so at their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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