2.) Russian Maslenitsa-Pancake Festival Review – Cleveland – March 1, 2020

Just before Eastern Orthodox churches entered the Lenten season…

…Cleveland’s Russian community came together at the Russian Cultural Garden of Cleveland

…to celebrate Maslenitsa

…a holiday of pagan origin that bids farewell to Lady Maslenitsa, representative of the winter…

…and hello to the spring with a plethora of blini or pancakes, the old symbol of the sun.

With the purchase of food tickets…

…festival goers were able to go to one of the indoor food stations…

…and get some blini for themselves with free toppings…

…and/or some salmon caviar for $5 more…

…as well as some shashlyk (grilled chicken) prepared outside…

…pretzels (baranki) and rooster shaped lollipops called petushki…

…which got my son hooked…

…while I, meanwhile, was a sucker for salmon roe on my pancakes…

…(I ate them like tacos with the roe inside – delicious!).

Visitors could enter the nearby greenhouse for an early taste of spring…

…thanks to the greenery and warm temperatures…

…and come to a section in the back…

…where there was a children’s activity table…

…as well as craft vendors…

…who offered felted accessories and decor (TZ Design) and all sorts of puppets.

Elsewhere on the grounds, it was easy to find something going on, whether it be outdoor games for the kids…

…or a Babushka contest…

…which was pretty fun to watch!

And, out front, there was a photo op…

…not to mention a booth with props for guests to use…

…for even better photo ops…

…and they really did have enough for everyone!