A decade’s worth of cultural food and music celebration was rung in during the annual Russian Food Festival Aug. 16 at S.S. Peter & Paul Orthodox Church, 2238 E 32nd St. in Lorain.
A festival that gets bigger by the year, chairman of the event Samuel Jacob said the start of the first day of the festival began with a line stretching all the way from the church halls to the street.
Visitors came for dinners featuring beef stroganoff, borscht, pirogi dinners, fish fry, stuffed cabbage, cabbage and noodles, kielbasa and kraut sandwiches, hoagies, blini, nutrolls, poppy seed rolls and assorted bakery items.
Specialty pirogies included buffalo chicken and jalapeno popper.
Russian beer and vodka are also available.
Jacob said those who helped organize the event began making pirogies as early as June and will be serving out 4,000 over the course of the two-day festival.
Stuffed cabbages made for Aug. 16 reached 900, with an additional 500 or so to be made on Aug. 17.
He said the growing demand and popularity of the event has brought the need for more food to be made.
“We’ve made way more this year because we sold out last year on Saturday by 5:30 or 6 (p.m.),” Jacob said. “We stepped up what we know … Every year it gets bigger and bigger and we make more and more food.”
Proceeds made from the festival go straight to the church, Jacob said.
Rev. Joseph McCartney said the festival is a unique way to honor the church’s heritage.
“This parish was founded (106) years ago by Russian immigrants who worked the steel mills,” he said.
“We try to keep the culture of the parish that our founders started alive,” he added.
Alan, 57, and Marybeth Brailer, 53, of Lorain, said they have been coming to the festival for several years and enjoy the food and music the most.
Additionally, they said they were looking forward to taking a tour of the church.
“We’re very much looking forward to that,” Marybeth Brailer said.
The festival continues from 3:30 to 8 p.m., Aug. 17 at the church.