Celebrate the cultures of St. Catharines’ Facer District this weekend
If a European vacation wasn’t in the cards this summer, you can get your continental fix this weekend at one of Niagara’s largest multicultural festivals.
The Facer European Festival returns for the third year on Monday, Aug. 6, with an itinerary full of old world foods, music and dance to celebrate the diversity and history of one of the city’s most storied neighbourhoods, all the while supporting its future as a thriving community hub.
The festivities start at noon with an interfaith blessing and the unveiling of new street signs marking the district along Facer Street. This will be followed by hours of live performances by musicians and dance troupes, including Polka King Walter Ostanek, John Gora, acoustic duo Tuscany, and The Klezmer Orchestra. Historical walking tours and a perogy eating contest are also on the bill. Advanced registration is required for the walking tours.
New this year, festival-goers can purchase a 2019 wall calendar featuring historical photos of the people and places of the neighbourhood from 1900 to the 1960s. Calendars can be purchased for $12 at the festival or in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A new bocce and scopa tournament will be held in “Little Italy,” a trattoria set up in the parking lot of Roberto’s Pizza Passion. Children’s activities have also been expanded to include a sidewalk chalk art competition, a bubble pond, and a kids’ zone by Zippy Zoom.
Classic foods made by Facer District merchants are on the menu to fuel the festivities, including porchetta and prosciutto panini from Roberto’s Pizza Passion, perogies from St. Joseph Bakery, and tamales from Tamales Mexico. Kids of all ages can keep cool with ice cream cones from Mister Softee.
“We’re delighted to showcase all this neighbourhood has to offer again this year,” said Henry Ostaszewicz, festival chair. “Visitors to the festival can experience the flavours and cultures of several European nations whose people immigrated to Canada in the middle of the last century and built the Facer District into a cultural gem for Niagara.”
Admission to the festival, which runs noon to 9 p.m. on the Civic Holiday, is free.
The Facer European Festival is a fundraising initiative of the Facer District Merchants and Residents Association to beautify the Facer District and make it a regional destination. Visit facereuropeanfestival.com for more information or to register for the walking tours.
For more information, contact:
Derek Kedzierski, Festival Treasurer
Roberto “The Pizza Dude” Vergalito, President, The Facer District Merchants and Residents Association