Russian Orthodox Church
The beautiful blue of the ornate Russian Orthodox Church on Bridle Path Road complemented a blue sky Sept. 7 as the church in Bethlehem was the scene of the Russian Food Festival.
George, Dimitra and Angelika came from Nazareth to browse the vendor’s tables at the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church’s 37th annual Russian Days Food Festival.
“We are from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Nazareth,” said George, who preferred not to give his last name. “We want to support other local communities in the Lehigh Valley.”
Several vendors offered crafts that ranged from hand -painted religious icons to traditional ornate Russian Easter eggs.
“Egger” Louse Habakus from New Jersey explained that while most of the decorated eggs on display had a religious theme, “Eggs were decorated centuries before Christ.”
Traditional Russian food was available inside the community room of the church and in the back yard where large tents shielded attendees and food servers from the bright sun.
Food Fest Chairperson Jennifer Bzik said the event required 60 to 70 people to staff the event.
“We sold 1,000 dozen perogies and 1,000 dozen kiffles,” said Bzik as she described the scale of the event which was free to attendees.
Reverend Matthew Joyner provided a little of the history of the church on Bridle Path Road.
“The church originated in South Bethlehem where it was built in 1914,” said Rev. Joyner. “This current building was built in 1979 and consecrated in 1981. This is the 40th anniversary of the first liturgy of the church.”
“This parish is central to our diocese,” said Rev. Joyner. “There are 36 parishes, but this is the second largest.”
He said the diocese covers most of eastern Pennsylvania.