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Thanks!

August 19, 2015

Thank you to everyone who attended the 41st Annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival. We hope you had a good time, and we’ll see you next year on the 3rd weekend in August.

If you’re interested in getting involved, the next meeting of the Festival Committee is on September 24th, at 7PM at the Hungarian Club of Toledo at 224 Paine Avenue.

Our meetings are always held at that time and place on a monthly basis, feel free to join us or email birminghamethnicfest@gmail.com to get involved.

2015 Festival Book Dedication

August 9, 2015

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The Birmingham Ethnic Festival Committee is honored to dedicate the 41st Annual Festival to two great ladies of our neighborhood: Gizella Bochi and Elizabeth Bochi.

The Bochi sisters Gizi and Betty, as we all know them, have dedicated their lives to their family, church and community, and to the preservation of our Hungarian American culture and traditions.

The last two surviving Charter members of VFW Post 4906 Women’s Auxiliary, they have been faithful members and volunteers at the Post all these years. They received their Charter at the VFW Hall, which was upstairs in a building on Front Street between the old fire station and Red Star Pharmacy!

At St. Stephen’s Church (Epiphany of the Lord Parish), they have both been Eucharistic ministers, Rosary mothers, and members of the Altar and Rosary Societies, not to mention some of the hardest workers at any event at the parish.

Their passion for their Hungarian culture motivated both of them to learn Hungarian embroidery from Kati, brought to the neighborhood by Father Martin Hernady, to renew this tradition in our community. They became active in both the St. Stephen’s embroidery group as well as the one at the “Reformatus Templom.”

Their lifelong curiosity and interest in broadening their horizons inspired them to become members of the Friends of the Birmingham Library Group for over 30 years, joining soon after they took part in the Birmingham Neighborhood Coalition’s successful battle to save the Birmingham library for our community. Along with dozens of parishioners and residents, they helped to withdraw thousands of books to “up” the circulation and convince the Toledo-Lucas County Library Board to keep the library open. It is an important part of our neighborhood to this day!

Betty worked at Tiedtke’s and, for many years, at Steins clothing store in Downtown Toledo. She was an active member and officer in the Local 12 UAW union, leading numerous blood drives for over 20 years for the community. Gizi was a businesswomen operating her own beauty parlor, Rudan’s, until the 1970s, in Downtown Toledo, keeping many customers very happy.

Both were world travelers, visiting not only Magyar Orszag, but many other countries, including going to Cuba in 1947, losing theirpassports and only getting back into the USA by using their VFW cards to prove their citizenship!

They have not missed a Festival in 41 years and have probably worked at all of them!

These two ladies, Gizella at the young age of 94 and Elizabeth at 90, represent the heart and soul of our great ethnic neighborhood.

20th Annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival Waiter’s Race

August 9, 2015

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A relay team consisting of 4 members will carry a tray with a pitcher of beer and 2 glasses. Exchanges will occur throughout the course down Consaul Street. The team to finish first AND with the most beer remaining in the glasses and pitcher wins the race. Points are awarded for order of finish and amount of beer remaining.

Join us on Friday, August 14 at 7PM on Consaul Street to watch Calvin United defend their title against the other teams!

The Cakewalkin’ Jass Band will provide entertainment. Once the race is over, stick around for the fun at VFW 4906, where there will be hamburgers and chips for sale.

Waiter’s Race past champions
1996 – Rumpus Room
1997 – Knights of Columbus
1998 – Tony Packo’s Restaurant
1999 – Rumpus Room/East Side Raiders
2000 – Consaul Tavern
2001 – Rumpus Room/East Side Raiders
2002 – Rumpus Room/East Side Raiders
2003 – Rumpus Room/East Side Raiders
2004 – Rumpus Room/East Side Raiders
2005 – Hungarian Club
2006 – Hungarian Club
2007 – Hungarian Club
2008 – Hungarian Club
2009 – Hungarian Club
2010 – Hungarian Club
2011 – Steelworkers
2012 – Hungarian Club
2013 – Hungarian Club
2014- Calvin United Church of Christ

History of the Birmingham Ethnic Festival

August 9, 2015

Born of events which took place in our community four decades ago, the Birmingham Ethnic Festival has come to be known as a Weekend in the Old Country. Over the years, thousands have come on this third weekend of August to share in the ethnic traditions, diverse culture and heritage for which Birmingham is known.

Over the years, several sets of railroad tracks on Consaul Street have been an ongoing source of frustration for motorists traveling between Toledo, Oregon and points east. Traffic is often stopped at these crossings by the trains. Through the 1950s and 1960s the Birmingham community sought to have a roadway built over the tracks, but to no avail.

When the city finally agreed to construct the overpass, plans called for a four lane bridge and the eventual widening of Consaul Street to four lanes, as well. This construction would have eliminated every building on one side of Consaul Street.

The heart of our community would have been torn from us. The Birmingham Neighborhood Coalition (B.N.C.) was organized in April of 1974 in response to this threat of destruction. Organizations representing all segments of the community came together to fight the widening of Consaul Street and subsequently to address other issues in the neighborhood.

In the 40 years since the founding of the B.N.C., the people of Birmingham have successfully addressed a wide range of problems. We are again fighting for our neighborhood (through the Birmingham Development Corporation) to minimize the impact of the expansion of the Collins Water Treatment Plant and to preserve as many homes near Collins Park as possible.

The first Birmingham Ethnic Festival took place on August 17, 1974. The first festival planning committee was chaired by Paul G. Hayden and included nearly 40 people, representing almost every church and organization within the neighborhood. From the first Festival Book we read the goals of this annual event as written by the founders:

Our intention is to point to the spirit of the original ethnic settlers in Birmingham. Their cooperation and unity of purpose was the foundation for the building of this community. The motivating purpose of the early settlers was their faith in the American ideal of success being equally available to all who are willing to work toward that end.

The Birmingham Ethnic Festival is an outgrowth of pride and enthusiasm of the Birmingham community, and its desire to share with greater Toledo a taste of the ethnic flavor which has so permeated the neighborhood. This pride has been a factor of great cohesiveness, sustaining the neighborhood through many threats to its very existence.

The Birmingham neighborhood has shown a concerted and serious attention to the betterment of the community, to the projects of beautification, renovation and preservation. This festival seeks, through its activities, to provide a means whereby the aspirations of the Birmingham community may be realized as fully as possible in the future.

MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS BIRMINGHAM
AND ITS PEOPLE FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.
WE LOVE THIS COMMUNITY,
ONE OF AMERICAS FINEST!

41st Annual Festival Sponsors

August 9, 2015

The Birmingham Ethnic Festival Committee would like to thank the 41st Annual Festival Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors
William Penn Association
Treu House of Munch

Bronze Sponsors
Bethlen Communities
Calvin United Church of Christ
Epiphany of the Lord Parish at St. Stephen’s Church
GBU Financial Life and GBU District 3000
Northwestern Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council
PNC Bank
Toledo Refining Company
WSOS Community Action Committee

Supporting Sponsor
Bertalan Family
Toledo Blade
Buckeye Cable System
BP / Husky
Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Homes
Tony Packo’s Cafe

41st Annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival Program Guide

August 6, 2015
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Entertainment Schedule 2015

August 4, 2015

SATURDAY, AUGUST 15TH

Calvin United Church of Christ
12:30-4:30 PM DJ
5-10PM TÁNCHÁZ with Harmonia from Cleveland, Ohio- Hungarian, Slovak, Ukranian dance music

Epiphany/St. Stephen’s Catholic Church
1-2 PM MATT KEELER
2:00 PM MOLLY’S IRISH DANCERS
2:30 PM CARLOS OCHOA
3:00 PM BAVARIAN SPORTSCLUB HOLZHACKER SCHUHPLATTLERS
5:00-10 PM TRU BREW

VFW
1:00 PM MOLLY’S IRISH DANCERS
1:30 PM BAVARIAN SPORTSCLUB HOLZHACKER SCHUHPLATTLERS
2:00 PM CARLOS OCHOA
2:30 PM RON SZILÁGYE-SAXOPHONE
3 – 4 PM MATT KEELER

SUNDAY, AUGUST 16TH
Opening Ceremonies with Gyanta Ensemble 11:45AM-12PM
Hungarian/American National Anthems

CALVIN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
1:00 PM MATT KEELER
1:30 PM ECHOES OF POLAND
2:00 PM MOLLY’S IRISH DANCERS
2:30 PM GYANTA ENSEMBLE-HUNGARIAN FOLK MUSIC
3:00 PM HUNGARIAN DANCES W/GÁBOR DOBI AND FRIENDS
3:30 PM TOLEDO HOLZHACHER BUAM SCHUHPLATTLERS
4:30-9 PM EAST RIVER BAND

ST. STEPHEN’S CATHOLIC CHURCH
1:00 PM GYANTA ENSEMBLE-HUNGARIAN FOLK MUSIC
1:30 PM HUNGARIAN DANCES W/GÁBOR DOBI AND FRIENDS
2:00 PM MATT KEELER
2:30 PM ECHOES OF POLAND
3:30 PM MOLLY’S IRISH DANCERS
4:00 PM TOLEDO HOLZHACHER BUAM SCHUHPLATTLERS
5 – 9 PM TRU BREW

VFW
1:00 PM MOLLY’S IRISH DANCERS
2:00 PM TOLEDO HOLZHACHER BUAM SCHUHPLATTLERS
2:30 PM CARLOS OCHOA
3:00 PM ECHOES OF POLAND
3:30 PM RON SZILÁGYE-SAXOPHONE
4 – 6 PM TÁNCHÁZ with GYANTA ENSEMBLE-HUNGARIAN FOLK
6- 9 PM BOBBY MAY & DRY BONES REVIVAL

Entertainment Schedule is subject to change.

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