Baltimore's wide world

The city's 12 summer ethnic festivals showcase a smorgasborg of cultures from this weekend through October

June 01, 2006|By SAM SESSA | SAM SESSA,SUN REPORTER

Warm summer weather ushers in the city's Showcase of Nations Ethnic Festivals. The 12-festival series kicks off tomorrow with the Polish Festival and wraps up with the Russian Festival in late October. Here's a rundown of each.

The Polish Festival runs 4 p.m.-10 p.m. tomorrow, noon-10 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday in Patterson Park, at South Linwood and Eastern avenues. See polka bands, browse crafts and eat traditional Polish foods. Admission is $2 tomorrow and $4 Saturday and Sunday. Children under 12 are free with an accompanying adult. For more information, call 410-879-6336 or visit polishcommunity.com.

Run by the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the free St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival is 11 a.m.-11 p.m. June 9-11. It features live music, traditional Greek dancing and food like baklava and galaktoboureko. You also can tour the church, at 520 S. Ponca St. Call 410-633-5020 or visit greekfolkfestival.com.

Erykah Badu and Chaka Khan are among the performers at this year's African-American Heritage Festival. Other local and national acts will play on several stages on the weekend of June 16-18. The free festival takes place at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Call 410-318-8286 or visit aahf.net.

Patterson Park at Eastern and South Linwood avenues also hosts LatinoFest noon-10 p.m. June 24 and noon-9 p.m. June 25. Performers include Larry Harlow and his Latin Legends Band, La Firma, Grupo Esmerado and dance troupe Arte Flamenco. There also will be authentic cuisine and crafts. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more information, call 410-783-5404 or visit latino fest.org.

People will don traditional island wear for a parade as part of the Caribbean Carnival Festival. Held at Druid Hill Park 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. July 14 and noon-9 p.m. July 15 and 16, it includes live steel-drum and reggae bands and regional cuisine. The parade starts at 1 p.m. July 15 on the 5400 block of Park Heights Ave. and ends at the park. Tickets are $8 per person and free for children under 12. For more information, call 410-230-2969 or visit bcacarni val.net.

The International Festival highlights the city's diverse cultural background. Activities include an international soccer competition, live music, dancing and ethnic foods. It runs noon-9 p.m. Aug. 5 and 6 at the Poly/Western athletic fields at Falls Road and West Cold Spring Lane. Free. For more information, call 410-396-3141.

On Aug. 12, the Nigerian Festival brings local bands and dancers, arts and crafts exhibits, African food, face painting, storytelling and children's games to Patterson Park. There will be an admission fee, but it had not been determined as of press time. The festival runs noon-8 p.m. For more information, call 410-608-0420 or visit nyamary land.org.

Native American drummers, dancers and artisans will come together for the PowWow Native American Festival Aug. 25-27 at Patterson Park. Admission is $3 Aug. 25 and free for children under 6. On Aug. 26-27, admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 6-12 and free for children under 6. For more information, call 410-675-3535 or visit baic.org.

See musicians, four dance groups and a pierogi-eating contest, browse crafts and a beer garden at the Ukrainian Festival Sept. 9-10. The festival takes place at Patterson Park noon-10 p.m. Sept. 9 and noon-9 p.m. Sept. 10. Free. Call 410-687-3465.

At the Irish Festival, you can listen to live Celtic and Irish music, cultural discussions and sample traditional food and drink. The free festival is 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 15 and noon-9 p.m. Sept. 16 at Canton Waterfront Park. Call 410-558-4640.

Watch Tae Kwon Do demonstrations and traditional dances at the Korean American Festival Sept. 23. It's free and runs 11 a.m.-7 p.m. that day at War Memorial Plaza, Fayette and Gay streets. Call 410-625-2442.

From Oct. 20 through Oct. 22, the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church will host the Russian Festival. There will be authentic food and live dancing. The times are noon-9 p.m. Oct. 20 and 21 and noon-6 p.m. Oct. 22. Admission is free on Oct. 20 and $2 Oct. 21-22. Call 410-276-6171.

sam.sessa@baltsun.com

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