Rochester Ukrainian Festival kicks off

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester Ukrainian Festival is returning on Thursday and runs through Sunday, August 21.

The festival takes place at St. Josaphat’s Church on Ridge Road in Irondequoit. It will celebrate Ukrainian culture with food, live music, dancing, and crafts. On Sunday, there will be a mass at the church and a prayer for peace.

The festival runs from:

  • Thursday from 6:00 p.m. until 10:45 pm
  • Friday from 6 p.m. until 11:45 p.m.
  • Saturday from 1 p.m. until 11:45 p.m.
  • Sunday from 1 p.m until 8 p.m.

You can see a complete festival schedule here.

The 50th annual Ukrainian Festival will be the first held since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Many members of Rochester’s Ukrainian community have feared for the lives of their relatives during the war that has continued for five months.

During the war, Ukrainian-Americans have come to Josaphat’s Church to pray for the safety of their relatives affected by the war. Solomia Lava of RocMaidan, which supports humanitarian work in Ukraine, said at a church event that she worried for her family member’s safety.

“I have a lot of family with young children some who slept in bomb shelters the other night, others that don’t know what the next day is going to bring,” Lava said. “I think that’s something everyone is scared of now.”

RocMaidan will have a booth at the festival to donate to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. You can also donate on RocMaidan’s website. The organization has helped to send medical supplies, clothing, and hygiene products, and even entire ambulances to Ukraine.