Rusin Day began in either 1927 or 1928... but first, there was Russian Day. But it wasn't what you would think. This article from a local newspaper reveals that "Russian Day" was initially a joint event of the Rusyn/Ruthenian and Ukrainian Greek Catholic parishes in the area. (Wow!)
|This financial report in the RBO's newspaper Pravda/The Truth is for the "First Russian Day" at Lakewood Park in 1928.|
|Minersville [Ss. Peter & Paul G.C. Church] school children at Russkij Den', Lakewood Park, July 12, 1928. Father Emil Nevickyj, pastor, Mr. Jurij Suchan, cantor-teacher.|
|Announcement in the United Societies newspaper Prosvita of the 1938 Ruskij Den' which says it's the 12th one, implying the first was in 1927.|
|Announcement in Prosvita of the 1941 Ruskij Den' which says it's the 15th one, also implying the first was in 1927.|
Rusyn Greek Catholic parishes in the Hazleton area also embraced Rusin Day at Lakewood Park.
|Ad in the Hazleton Plain Speaker for the 1954 event.|
Ukrainian Day started later than Rusin Day, in 1933, but it became no less of a draw. And with many of the area Carpatho-Rusyns being members of Ukrainian Greek Catholic parishes, Ukrainian Day was at its core as much of a Rusyn event as a Ukrainian event. And it proved to be the longer-lasting, even though it is now held at another venue (as mentioned in the introduction), still drawing members of Ukrainian Catholic parishes from a wide area of eastern Pennsylvania and beyond.
Don't Forget Russian Day!
As mentioned, Lakewood Park was legendary for many reasons, not the least of which was the plethora of ethnic heritage days held there in the summer. Another one that brought many local Carpatho-Rusyns out was Russian Day, organized by Russian Orthodox parishes primarily in Schuylkill and Northumberland Counties. Russian Day at Lakewood began in 1933.
|Announcement in the RBO newspaper Pravda/The Truth of the 1942 Russian Day|
|Announcement of the 1962 event in the RBO's Pravda/The Truth newspaper. Was this perhaps the last Russian Day at Lakewood?|
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