On Saturday, July 16th, St George Serbian Orthodox Church hosted their second annual Serbian Festival (SerbFest). This event began with the hopes of sharing a bit of our faith, cultural heritage, and community vibrancy with our local community – while at the same time raising funds to further our mission in North Canton.
In the kitchen, the food, lamb and grill committees went bigger than last year! They roasted twenty-four fresh lambs, selling it by the pound in any quantity that people desired to purchase. The chefs of the parish gathered to make over eight-hundred sarma (cabbage rolls) to sell to the hungry crowds, in addition to preparing cevapcici (Serbian meat/cooked sausage), potato salad, beans, and hot rice.
The children’s committee more than doubled their activities and reduced the overall cost to our guests. For the price of one wrist band, children could enjoy pony rides, bouncy houses, slides, and games. A new toddler area was established for the younger children, including a dedicated bouncy house and ball-pool. The Stark County Sheriff’s department offered free IDs, fingerprinting and photos for young children, and face-painting was (as always) a big hit of the day.
Church tours were offered continuously from 12-4pm. Fr Aleksa Pavichevich and Dn Larry Soper took many curious visitors through the beautifully frescoed St George Church, answering questions and providing some basic information on Orthodox faith, art, and architecture.
This year’s entertainment offerings included “Drago”, a musician from Cuyahoga County, a DJ in the picnic pavilion, and the Gracanica Folklore group from neighboring St Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church.
The “Little Serbia Marketplace” increased its vendor offerings to our guests, both in terms of vendor quantity and variety. The Euro Market in Cleveland came to offer Serbian foods and beverages for the home. Handblown glass art, candy, bags, and more were on display for the interested shopper! Featured at the entrance to the marketplace was the St George community mission, “Love Thy Neighbor” – as a fundraiser, a number of baskets were raffled off to the guests.
Many thanks to the volunteers that made this day a success – from our youngest greeters at the door, to the experienced hands in the kitchen cooking and doing dishes, everyone worked together to care for their church, and share it with the broader community.