Welcome Home! to the 41st Annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival Saturday August 15th and Sunday August 16th, 2015!
One of Toledo’s oldest and most popular ethnic festivals, The Birmingham Ethnic Festival: “A Weekend in the Old Country” has been held throughout the years to celebrate the strength and diversity of our community, our success in preventing the splitting of our neighborhood by a proposed road widening project over forty years ago, and our continuing fight for the preservation and recognition of our neighborhood.
The 41st festival will feature popular Hungarian foods including: Chicken Paprikas, Hunky Turkey (Roasted Bacon Sandwich), Stuffed Cabbage, homemade Kolbasz / Sausage Sandwiches, Gulyas, Palacsinta (crepes), Cabbage and Noodles, Pastries and a fantastic array of other ethnic foods on Consaul Street. Chicken Paprikas Dinners will be sold on Saturday (at 4:30PM) & Sunday (at Noon) at Calvin United, and at Saint Stephen’s from 12PM-3PM (Sunday only).
The hours for the Festival are 12:00 to 10:00 P.M. on Saturday and 12:00 to 9:00 P.M. on Sunday.
As an unofficial opening to the Festival Weekend, the 20th Annual Waiters Race will occur on Friday night, August 14 at 7PM. The race with relay teams of four carrying trays with a full pitcher and two glasses of beer has become one of the most popular events at the Festival. Entertainment and refreshments will be available at the VFW Post 4906 prior to and after the race. Also this year, a separate heat will take place between the Toledo Fire Department and the Toledo Police Department! Be sure to come down to Consaul Street and join in the festivities!
On Sunday August 17th, a Recognition Ceremony will be held at 12:00 Noon on the steps of St. Stephen’s Church, beginning with a flag raising ceremony, announcement of the recipient of the Birmingham Friend of the Neighborhood Award, recognition of local and international guests, and presentation of the Beer Keg Trophy to the winner of the Waiters Race. Mass will be held at 11AM at Epiphany of the Lord Parish (St. Stephen’s) prior to the Recognition Ceremony.
Ethnic dance groups will perform both Saturday and Sunday on the three Main Stages at the St Stephen’s / Hungarian Club site, Calvin United and VFW 4906 on Consaul Street.
Scheduled performers include Holzhacher Baum Schuplattlers, Molly’s Irish Dancers, Echoes of Poland, Matt Keeler (Folk Musician), Ron Szilagye, Carlos Ochoa, Dobi Gabi & Magyar Trixie. A tanchaz (dance workshop) will occur at Calvin United lot on Saturday, August 15th at 5PM and on Sunday, August 16th at 4PM at the VFW.
Returning again to the Festival will be the Gyanta (Rosin) Orchestra from New Jersey, one of the premier Hungarian folk music groups in the United States.
Popular bands will be performing a great variety of music both days in the evening on the three Main Stages. Bands to be featured include: Bobby May & Dry Bones Revival, Tru Brew, and East River Band.
Food and craft vendors will be selling their colorful and creative wares on the Consaul Street mall. An array of children’s games and activities will be available on Consaul and Genesee Street.
Handicap parking is available off of Burr Street and facilities are available throughout the Festival grounds.
In 2005, the Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development, with the help of the University of Toledo College of Law, facilitated a joint American and Hungarian training program partnership in Szeged, Hungary. The University of Toledo College of Law and the Szeged University Faculty of Law are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their successful cooperation! The American Legal Experts training is a 2-year program in Szeged. In 10 years, 200 Hungarian lawyers completed this program and some also had an opportunity to come to Toledo, Ohio for a 4-week internship organized by UT College of Law. We welcome Dr. Peter Mezei from Szeged, Hungary to Toledo, Ohio and to the 41st Birmingham Ethnic Festival to celebrate this collaboration!
Come enjoy a Weekend in the Old Country as well as a great Toledo neighborhood tradition with great food, music, dance and refreshments in the historic Birmingham Neighborhood.