he Serbian community of the Upper Ohio Valley is preparing to welcome friends and neighbors from throughout the area with traditional Serbian hospitality at the annual Serb Fest Picnic set for Sunday, beginning at noon.
Sponsored by Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church in Steubenville, the annual rain-or-shine event features Serbian food, drink and entertainment at the Serbian Picnic Grounds in Weirton.
"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," said the Rev. Rade Merick.
"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 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, Serbian plum brandy," Merick said.
"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," he added.
The annual Serb Fest Picnic is one of the biggest and most anticipated Serbian events of the year in the greater Pittsburgh and Tri-State Area, according to Merick.
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 continues into the evening.
For directions or information, visit the church's website at www.hrsoc-steuben.org/picnic.html or call the church office at (740) 282-4463.