What keeps them coming back to Irwin festival? Everything
There’s something about the Irwin Ethnic Food Festival and Craft Show that keeps folks coming back year after year. Maybe more than one thing.
“People like the food, the crafts, the entertainment, everything,” says Lillian Woleslagle of North Huntingdon, who organizes the craft show.
More than 3,000 people attended last year, according to the Irwin Business & Professional Association, which hosts the one-day event along with Irwin Borough.
The 15th annual festival is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 9 on Main Street in downtown Irwin.
The street will close to traffic for the duration of the festivities.
If you go, bring along a taste for food from the old country. Food booths will feature traditional Slovak, Croatian, Serbian and Italian fare, such as the ever-popular haluski, halupki and spinach and cheese-filled pitas, along with cevapcici (a mix of grilled pork and beef) and palacinka (also known as a crepe).
“The baked goods are always popular,” Woleslagle says. “If we run out of that, oh my!”
Apple strudel and nut rolls are perennial favorites.
Live entertainment will kick off with polka music by Mikey Dee and His Balkan Boys at 10 a.m. The group will perform sets through mid-afternoon.
The Trafford Junior Tamburitzans will perform Eastern European music and dance numbers beginning at noon.
The group comprises young people from across the United States, Canada and Croatia and welcomes members from all nationalities, according to its website.
Throughout the day, strolling dancers and musicians representing the Finnish Nationality Room in the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning will be found amid the crowds.
More than 40 craft vendors will be on site, with homemade merchandise including dog treats, crocheted items, themed wreaths, painted gourds, birdhouses and other woodcrafts.
“I like the homemade stuff,” Woleslagle says. “To me, that’s what makes it a real craft show.”
Other vendors will offer specialty items including Lularoe clothing, jewelry and essential oils.