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CroatiaFest Highlights Croatian Arts, Traditions and Puget Sound Presence


The festival is set for October 2 and 3, 2021.

CroatiaFest Highlights Croatian Arts, Traditions and Puget Sound Presence

CroatiaFest, Saturday, Oct. 2 and Sunday, Oct. 3, presents Croatian culture through music and dance performances, food demonstrations, tours, stories and interviews. The public may join the festival free of charge at and

The producers of CroatiaFest have made good use of the virtual format to strengthen its offerings, filming and documenting Croatian neighborhoods in Anacortes and Gig Harbor with a focus on a common thread within the local Croatian community, its ties to the commercial fishing industry. The video clips include footage of the Anacortes History Museum, American Croatian Club, Croatian Cultural Center and Gig Harbor History Museum with numerous insights and interview about the place and contribution of Croatians in our region.

The festival features a two-part series, "Obnovimo Stare Uzance" (Renewing Our Old Traditions). The first segment, with members of the Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble of Anacortes, Wash., highlights the special connections of the Ensemble's folk dances to the Puget Sound Croatian community, particularly dances from the Island of Korcula. Part two recreates colorful folk garments sewn in the United States and modeled by siblings Gus and Ellie Schafer.

The Saturday streaming schedule, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., presents:

  • Welcome greetings by CroatiaFest Coordinator Joanne Abdo and City of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan
  • Traditional Croatian entertainment
  • Presentations about Croatian traditions and historic cemeteries in Roslyn, Wash.
  • Walking tour of the Pelješac Peninsula Ston
  • Obnovimo Stare Užance Part 1 with Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble
  • Baked hobotnica (octopus) cooking demonstration
  • Virtual Ancestry Cellars wine tasting

CroatiaFest continues Sunday, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., with:

  • Welcome from Renee Pea, Croatian Consul General, Los Angeles
  • Radost Folk Ensemble and Dunava Women's Choir
  • Performance by Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble at "Dance This"
  • Interview with Ray Fadich, author of "The Big Run: Life Aboard A Salmon Seiner"
  • Croatian stories
  • Croatian cookie baking demonstration
  • Virtual tour of Anacortes exploring the place of its Croatian immigrant community
  • Presentations on Croatian lace, dowries and jewelry

Later in the day, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the festival features:

  • Music by the traditional/fusion music ensemble Rakija Bend of Chicago, Ill.
  • Performance of Tamburaški Orkestar Kardinal Stepinac at the Western Canadian Croatian Folklore Festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Baking and cooking demonstrations
  • Tours of Kuzma's Fish Market and the Croatian presence in Gig Harbor
  • Interview with Rosemary Gard, author of the "Destiny" book series
  • Obnovimo Stare Užance Part 2, Seattle Jr Tamburitzans Costume Exhibit at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.

View festival program details at:

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