Carpatho-Rusyns are one of the major ethnic groups of Pennsylvania. From the time they settled the state’s small towns and cities in the late 1870s until the present time, Carpatho-Rusyns have left an indelible mark on the state, and their story should be told. This blog is about a project that will do just that. Read more

Russkij Den' - Kennywood Park and Western PA

Russkij Den' at Kennywood Park began in 1921. Through the years it was also called Karpato-Russkij Den' and in English, Rusin Day, Russian Day, Carpatho-Russian Day, and eventually Byzantine Catholic Day and Byzantine Catholic Family Day.




"Participants in the XI Carpatho-Russian Day of the Pittsburgh Area [1931] from the Greek Catholic Rusyn parish of Pittsburgh (Forward Ave.) [St. John Chrysostom] with their victory prizes. Priest: Fr. Stefan Kozak, Cantor-teacher: Peter Korpos"
Competitions and exhibitions:

Pittsburgh Press, July 25, 1933

Margaret Kočuta, member of United Societies, who sang at Rusin Day at Kennywood Park, August 10, 1937. She is the daughter of Marija Kočuta, teacher of Lodge #170 of the GCU Youth Division in Pittsburgh (Greenfield Ave.)




The painful division engendered by the 1930s split into Greek Catholic and American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox resulted in two separate events at Kennywood. Although the original event had been referred to some years as Carpatho-Russian Day / Karpato-Russkij Den', that name was eventually used exclusively by the event associated with the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.


The rival of the Greek Catholic Union, the McKeesport-based United Societies of the U.S.A. (Sobranije), organized a new Greek Catholic Rusin Day at McKeesport's Olympia Park in 1935. The event as styled as the proper one for faithful Catholics who were not involved in the turmoil of the 1930s that the Greek Catholic Union led opposing Bishop Basil Takach's compliance with the Vatican's Cum data fuerit decree.

"Mr. Andrej Petach, Chairman of Greek Catholic Rusin Day, and other true friends of the Rusyn people, among whom are Mr. Andrej Dobosh, Supreme President of United Societies."
"July 16, 1935, at Greek Catholic Rusin Day at Olympia Park -- school children of St. Nicholas parish of McKeesport under the direction of Mr. M. Megela, cantor-teacher, sing Rusyn folk songs."
"Our Rusyn women in their own national dress, and not in foreign Muscovite costumes, at Greek Catholic Rusin Day..."

In Aliquippa and Ambridge, Beaver County, Greek Catholics and Orthodox held their own separate events.

A Russkij Den' of the Johnstown, Cambria County, area started in 1934. It's not known to us if or how long the event continued.


In Monessen, Westmoreland County, Russkij Den' began in 1939 as regional event of Russian Orthodox parishes.

First Russkij Den' in Monessen, July 1939. Divine Liturgy held in City Park, celebrated by Fr. Prot. Theodore Geeza, pastor; Fr. Prot. Vasilij Horskij from Canonsburg; Fr. Vasyl' Strojen from Monongahela; and Fr. John Kivko from Donora.

In Uniontown, Fayette County, the ethnic identifier was replaced by a religious one, Greek Catholic Day.

Continue to Eastern PA: Lakewood Park

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