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2017 Cleveland Russian Festival

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 28th-July 30th, we tabled on behalf of "Margaret W. Wong & Associates" at the 2017 Cleveland Russian Festival presented by Saint Sergius Cathedral at the locale of German Central Farm on York Road in Parma.

We had also tabled at the 2016 festival so we knew several people involved with it like Archpriest Ilia Marzev of Saint Sergius and Ms. Laura Verbiski, the festival's go-to person. Several of the venders also recognized us from last year like Ms. Sally Hubiak from "Baba's Place"; Ms. Betty Barnett from "Bath Fitter"; and Mr. Daniel Simpson, Ms. Halyna Vozna, and Ms. Ludmila Cravenco all from the "ATS Institute of Technology" for English as a second language learners.

As it happened, we were assigned a table next to two brothers selling Russian novelty items who also tabled right next to us at "Painesville Party in the Park."

Over the weekend, it was estimated that perhaps 3,500 to 4,000 people attended the 2017 festival. This was a higher number than the 2016 festival whose attendance was hampered by foul weather conditions.

In addition to tabling, we watched the performances of such musical groups as the "Baryna Trio", the "Golden Gates Musical Ensemble", and, of course, the "Cuyahoga Cossacks" featuring our good friend, Mr. Ken Kovach.

While we sat at our table, several people stopped off to obtain information or chat including a woman who told us that her daughter was a magistrate in Columbus and recently presided over the swearing-in of 50 new United States citizen.

Others who talked to us were:

****Mr. Chris Stanley and Mr. Sean McCready, two high school social studies teachers from Columbus engaged in a filmmaking project entitled "Get to Know Your Neighbor" that involves them visiting ethnic festivals throughout Ohio and interviewing people. Ultimately, their film(s) will appear on "Livestream". They were enthused when we told them about "One World Day" which is on August 27th and fast approaching.

****Two guys named Kenneth and Gordon who wanted to explore their Ukrainian and German heritage. We thus gave them copies of Ms. Wong's book, "The Immigrant's Way" and they repaid us by cheerfully mugging as we took a photograph. We also gave a copy of "The Immigrant's Way" to a nice young man named Evan who immigrated to the United States from Haiti and to a family who had recently come here from Russia.

****Father Yves Babich of "St. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church" in Lakewood who told us that his church is the home to many people whose families mostly immigrated to the United States from various European countries several generations ago. He thought for a moment before he told us that at this time only a few people attend who are themselves foreign-born but he gladly took our contact information in case a need for our assistance should arise.

****A man named John to work at a local airport before he retired so naturally he knew of Ms. Margaret W. Wong who flies quite frequently. He affectionately recalled an incident wherein Ms. Wong's flight was delayed so she bought lunch for all of her fellow passengers.



Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC