Parma Ukrainian Village Festival and Parade Returns for Long-Awaited Emotional Celebration

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PARMA, Ohio — Normally the centerpiece of the Ukrainian village festival, this year’s parade takes on greater prominence due to recent events involving the Russian invasion.

“We have had a lot of support from communities outside of the Ukrainian community who are supporting and raising funds for the war and supplies,” said Ukrainian village chairman Roman Fedkiw.

“We hope we will have a bigger turnout because obviously Ukraine has been in the news a lot. There’s interest and support that goes beyond our community, so I anticipate the crowds will be bigger.

The parade kicks off the Ukrainian Village Festival scheduled for 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, located at 5720 State Road in Parma.

The Ukrainian Village Festival takes place at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, located at 5720 State Road in Parma. (John Benson/cleveland.com)

Departing at 11 a.m. Saturday from Grantwood Drive, the parade heads north on State Road to Ukrainian Heritage Park. Participating this year are the three bands from Parma High School and local community groups and organizations.

“We expect crowds in the thousands,” Fedkiw said. “The parade route is over a mile long. It’s crowded from start to finish. Usually the biggest crowds are at the end where we have the schedule after the parade is over.

After the parade, a short program is planned at the Ukrainian Heritage Park, in front of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of St. Josaphat.

The program includes a flag-raising and naturalization ceremony, as well as remarks from Mayor Tim DeGeeter and U.S. Senator Rob Portman. The latter is the grand marshal of this year’s parade.

“This year, the Ukraine Independence Day Parade in the Ukrainian Village of our city is more important than ever to show our support for Ukraine,” said Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter.

“Even before I was mayor, I loved participating in this event. This year will be even more special due to the ongoing invasion. I look forward to celebrating Ukraine’s independence and culture as it is part of our moral fabric in Parma. It will be a special day.

Portman added, “Ohio is proud to be home to one of the largest Ukrainian-American populations in the country. Many still have family in Eastern Europe who must endure Russia’s brutal and unwarranted attack.

“It is important that we continue to show solidarity with all who are suffering to send a message that Ohio and the United States stand with Ukraine.”

Read more news from the Parma Sun Post here.

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