WEIRTON - The Serbian community of the Upper Ohio Valley is preparing to welcome friends and neighbors from all over the area with traditional Serbian hospitality at the annual Serb Fest Picnic on Sunday, July 22. This annual event features the best of Serbian food, drink and entertainment in a beautiful 19-acre natural setting along picturesque Kings Creek in Weirton. The event is a highlight of the year for those looking for the best in ethnic food and entertainment. It is sponsored by Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church in Steubenville.
The Serb Fest is held at the Serbian Picnic Grounds, one of the best picnic facilities anywhere, famous for its weekly summer Chicken Blasts. There is plenty of parking. Volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, and a playground for the kids are all available to help those who wish to work up an appetite or work off a meal. A huge picnic shelter means a great time can be had rain or shine, and there are plenty of picnic tables both under the shelter and out under the trees.
One of the favorite places for visitors to gather at the picnic is the barbecue building, where you can watch the dozens of lambs and hundreds of chickens spinning on spits over open fires as they are readied to feed hungry guests. The kitchen has all kinds of Serbian and American foods and sandwiches to tempt every taste. Featured are such traditional favorites as sarma (tender cabbage leaves stuffed with a savory ground meat mixture and simmered in a special tomato sauce), cabbage and noodles, sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions, and gibanica (a rich cheese-filled pastry). The smell of sizzling homemade cevapcici (Serbian beef and pork sausages) brings a crowd around the grill. Everyone saves room for the bountiful pastries and desserts made by the women of the parish, and when people work up a thirst there are plenty of cold beverages to help them quench it, including the famous slivovitsa, fiery Serbian plum brandy.
Of course, every Serbian picnic needs Serbian music, which is available live from early afternoon on. The Holy Resurrection Tamburitzans, made up of young people from the parish, are always a favorite attraction as they put on a great show of traditional Serbian song and dance at about 4 p.m. This year's main entertainment will be the popular orchestra Srpski Sinovi, who will play for listening and dancing. Join the crowd in a lively Serbian kolo, or circle dance, or just watch the many others who will.
All this and more makes the annual Serb Fest Picnic one of the biggest and most anticipated Serbian events of the year in the greater Pittsburgh and tri-state area.
The people of Holy Resurrection Church look forward to welcoming all their friends and neighbors from near and far on July 22. The Serbian Picnic Grounds is located on Kings Creek Road in Weirton, about a mile east of North 12th Street. The picnic begins at noon and goes into the evening. For directions and more information check the church's web site at www.hrsoc-steuben.org/picnic.html or call the church office at 740-282-4463.