WILKES-BARRE — After several weeks of some pretty tough winter weather it is understandable some residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania are starting to suffer from the monotony of shoveling, shivering from frigid temperatures and the loss of freedom that comes from being stuck indoors, according to the members on one local church community.
To help combat the winter challenges, the members of the the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral on North Main Street in Wilkes-Barre sponsored their Mid-Winter Food and Ethnic Crafts Festival this weekend as they have for the last 10 years.
The public was invited to enjoy good food, shop for specialty crafts and just get out a little, according to one of the event organizers and church pastor’s wife, Gloria Martin.
About 500 winter warriors from all over the area attend each year, she said.
The festival is one of several fundraisers for the church and the largest event for the parish each year, she said.
It’s more than a fundraiser though, it’s a “mid-winter break,” Martin said. This time of year can get hard because “cabin fever” starts to have its effects on people, making them a little restless, she added.
Since the parish has served the Russian- and Eastern European-rooted community for more than 100 years, much of the food served, such as borscht, haluski and pierogies, and the crafts were ethnically authentic, Martin said.
Some standard American fare such as hot dogs and hamburgers were available as well.
Vendors displayed polish and Russian pottery, textiles, candles, jewelry and paintings. Homemade bread and treats were lined up for a large bake sale, and donated baskets were raffled off, Martin said.
The church and the 150 member families are always thankful to the volunteers who worked tirelessly over the last two weeks in preparation. About 20 volunteers prepared the food and set up the accommodations in advance of the event.
Plus volunteers served the guests and helped with cleanup, Martin said.
The festival continues today from noon to 6 p.m. in the cathedral parlor at 591 N. Main St. in Wilkes-Barre.