Troika-Load of Fun

In the ten years that Russian emigré Masha Surprena has been in the United States, she's noticed how little Americans really seem to know about her native Russian culture: The rich food, the dances and music, the fashion sense and the very heart of the Russian people all seem to fly under our general radar. Most of all, though, she has come to lament the fact that nobody here knows how much fun it is to be Russian. "We have a fun culture," she says proudly, and she's out to prove it.

Surprena came up with the idea for an inaugural Russian Festival because, she says, "we don't have anything like that." And there's no better place in town to represent a community that's grown to include more than 50,000 people in the metro area than in Glendale, where an especially healthy society of Russians thrives.

The fledgling, volunteer-run fest will bring a little of everything Russian — delicious shish kabobs and pierogi, ballet and traditional Russian dancers, balalaika music, gymnasts, handcrafts, Dazbog coffee, rock musicians, businessmen and fashionistas — to Glendale's Creekside Park, 4400 East Virginia Avenue, for an extravaganza beginning today at 10 a.m. and wrapping up with a big concert that goes until 10 p.m. Admission is free; for details, go to
Mon., Aug. 25, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 2008

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd