September 30, 2014
Chestnut Ridge, NY: Russian Festival held at Russian-American Society "Otrada"

On Sunday, September 7, the Russian American Society "Otrada" in Chestnut Ridge, NY held a Russian festival. The warm summer day saw over 500 guests participate and enjoy the festival. This year, in hopes of expanding the traditional Russian picnic and holding a true Russian festival, "Otrada" joined forces with the event-planning company Alchemy Events & Designs, Inc. (Tatiana Zacharin-Geringer and Larissa Pokrovsky, Managing Partners).

Throughout the day, guests were treated to performances by folk ensemble "Kalinka," as well as contemporary Russian music, while "Troika" dance group performed Russian and Gypsy dances. All in attendance were able to partake of homemade Russian national cuisine and barbeque. The beautifully decorated Russian Tea Room enticed guests with homemade sweet treats of mille-feuille ("napoleon"), Russian torts, and pastries. Of particular acclaim were pelmeni with various traditional garnishes, and the Russian Beer Bar with choices of four Russian beers was a hit. Ten vendors presented Russian-style specialty souvenirs and gifts.

Children crowded around the complimentary face-painting station, and enjoyed swimming in the pool and playing in the inflatable castle. Young adults played volleyball and other sports. A 50/50 lottery was offered for all participants.

Those in attendance noted that the festival was permeated with a truly Russian spirit, and stood apart for its Russian hospitality. Many Russian and local businesses supported "Otrada" and its philanthropic efforts by participating in a full-color advertisement journal, released specially for the festival.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese