Culture Club

At last year’s inaugural Firebird Festival: A Taste of Russia, attendees “really felt the soul of Russia,” says event organizer Alexandra Prizeman. Which isn’t at all surprising, considering the care Prizeman took. “I really strive to present everything Russian,” she says, “and when I think Russian, I think of everything that was part of Imperial Russia — different costumes, different cuisine.”

Prizeman is even more excited about this year. “We’ve got much better entertainment,” she promises. There will be music and dance, featuring gifted singers, the traditional Russian instruments balalaika and bayan, plus Russian children’s street games. “I don’t see that here in America,” notes Prizeman, “and there is a lot of that in Russia.”

You’ll get your first taste from the greeters, who will be dressed in traditional Russian costumes and holding bread and salt, which is how Russians welcome honored guests and also how they bless their children after wedding ceremonies. Other tastes might include samovar-brewed tea or kvas, or perhaps even Prizeman’s own homemade Russian rhubarb ice cream, the tart flavor sweetened with strawberries. “It’s six and a half hours long, and we don’t have a dull moment,” she says.

The festival takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at All Saints of Russia Orthodox Church, 3274 East Iliff Avenue. Visit www.rocadenver.org/?language=en for information.
Sat., Sept. 19, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m., 2009

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen