SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – At the top of Tipperary Hill, faded green steeples touch the sky as calming winds breeze by. A classic brick pattern makes up the majority of the structure and thick wooden doors act as the gatekeeper to inside.
St. John The Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church was built in 1912 and has stood in the same place for over 100 years. This year, a milestone was reached by the church: Celebrating its 80th anniversary of the Syracuse Ukrainian Festival.
Event Director Nick Fruscello said he aims to bring a taste of home to Ukrainian families that have resettled here, especially amid the ongoing conflict with Russia.
“We really hope this does give them some solace that there is Ukrainians all around the world that are strong, we are doing this together. We are helping anyway we can for the folks that are still there, we are trying to get others here,” Fruscello said.
The event will feature Ukrainian cuisine and dance performances, but Fruscello said the biggest feature of the festival is unity.
“I love to see folks come together and allow us to share our culture with the community,” Fruscello said.
Meaningful meals and face-to-face interaction is one way to achieve this, Fruscello said.
“This is our food, this is our drink. Come and join us, we are a very welcoming people. And it’s always been that we are opening our doors to the community, we want the community to be here,” Fruscello said.
The festival is the church’s top fundraising event and it has not been in person since the pandemic hit.
The Syracuse Ukrainian Festival will take place at St. John The Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church from Friday July 29 to Saturday July 30.