IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — Starting Thursday night, the 51st Annual St. Josphat’s Ukrainian Festival kicks off. News 8 spoke to organizers about why this event means so much for our area.

They’ll have everything from Ukrainian arts and crafts, entertainment, and of course authentic food. This is also a time for the community to come together in solidarity with Ukraine.

“Today we are celebrating a weekend of Ukrainian culture, Ukrainian heritage, Ukrainian faith,” Reverend Philip Weiner says.

Ukrainian food too…

“The response is, ‘We love the food.’ We have all kinds of great Ukrainian food. We have the Varenyky or the Perogies. We have Holubtsi or the cabbage rolls. We have the Ukrainian Kovbasa,” Rev. Weiner says.

There’s more.

“We actually have a signature Ukrainian Kovbasa that we provide,” he says. “The sauerkraut or what we call the Kapusta. The Ukrainian beet soup, Borscht.”

When you’re full, you can take a look at Ukrainian arts and crafts they’ll have for sale.

“You can find that gift for that extra special person in your life,” Rev. Weiner says. “We have a Ukrainian jeweler here. We do have Ukrainian artists here. We have vendors who sell different Ukrainian artifacts.”

Not only will people be welcomed into the local Ukrainian community, but organizers say this is also a chance for everyone here to come together with Ukraine — now a year and a half since Russia’s invasion.

“Every day we pray for peace in Ukraine,” he says. “We have a special candle in the church that burns every day for peace.”

The festival starts at 6 p.m. and will last until Sunday. The event is free to attend. They say all you need to bring are smiles and an appetite.

St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Festival starting times:

  • Thursday, August 17: 6 p.m.-10:45 p.m.
  • Friday, August 18: 6 p.m. – 11:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 19: 1 p.m. – 11:45 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 20: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.