US Census 2010

Horsham, PA – 23. August, 2009

The blue and yellow colors adorning Tryzubiwka gleamed with special vibrancy in the gorgeous Sunday afternoon sun which greeted over 1,800 people, young and old, as they assembled to celebrate eighteen years of Ukraine’s independence.  Banners danced gracefully in the light summer breezes which invigorated the senses with a uniquely Ukrainian spirit.

Openinig Ceremony

Opening Ceremonies. From left – co-MCs Tanya Husar and Gene Luciw, Rev. Proto-presbyter Frank Estocyn, Archbishop Metropolitan Stefan Soroka, Tryzub Pres. Jaroslaw Kozak, and US Census Bureau representative Jesse Selness


1.	Emily Knihnicky of Voloshky performs during the Ukrainian Gypsy Dance

Emily Knihnicky of Voloshky performs during the Ukrainian Gypsy Dance
Photo by Carl Kosola/Intelligencer-Record newspaper.

The anticipation was palpable, as the Karpaty Ukrainian Dance Orchestra warmed the crowd with a rich variety of folk songs.  Everyone expected “the fireworks”:  a grand explosion of color, sound, movement and energy that is Ukrainian folk music and dance.

After Tryzub’s president, Jaroslaw Kozak, greeted the people, His Grace, Stefan Soroka, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in American and Rev. Proto-presbyter Frank Estocyn, pastor of St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia, led the faithful in a particularly moving prayer.  The National Anthems of Canada, the United States and Ukraine followed.  Some were less successful than others in forcing back the tears.

Hopak By Kozaks

Hopak by The Kozaks. Photos by Chris Syzonenko

A uniquely acrobatic and entertaining cabaret group from Toronto, The Kozaks, joined the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Philadelphia, to compose an especially diverse and varied collection of folk dances.  Stage MCs, Tanya Husar and Gene Luciw, intertwined the numbers with a bounty of music performed by violinist-virtuoso, Innesa Tymochko Dekajlo (Lviv), the Sisters Oros Duet (NYC) and the Luna Dance Band (NJ).   The people showed their appreciation with applause which were matched only by their cheers, grins and smiles.

Hopak by Voloshky

Hopak by Voloshky. Photo by Photos by Chris Syzonenk

VOloshky Kyivskiy Hopak

Voloshky performs Kyivsky Hopak. Photo by Chris Syzonenko

“The affair was a huge success,” said Tryzub’s Executive Vice President, Orest Lesiuk.  “It’s a reflection of the hard work of Tryzub’s unsung heroes, its volunteer – the people in the kitchen, the  program and facilities managers, the sports coaches, the festival and other event organizers and a tireless crew of other volunteers that keep Tryzubiwka in tip-top shape.”

VOloshky Hutsul Dance

Voloshky premieres its new Hutsul Dance. Photo by Chris Syzonenko

Voloshky Hutsul Dance

Voloshky premieres its new Hutsul Dance. Photo by Chris Syzonenko

Festival organizer and co-MC, Tanya Husar, added, that “[it’s] a testament to the beauty and strength of the Ukrainian spirit and to the value of cooperation among Ukrainians”.  She was especially pleased to see Ukrainians of all generations and immigrations working and celebrating together as one. 

A significant non-Ukrainian presence, said Ms. Husar, accomplished other very important missions: “to showcase our beautiful Ukrainian culture and to heighten peoples’ awareness about Ukraine, its people and their very strategic role in the world.”


Innesa. Photos by Chris Syzonenko

It is important to note that the Philadelphia Inquirer and nearly every newspaper of general circulation in the Greater Philadelphia area and in the Lehigh Valley featured this year’s festival in many of its varied sections, inclusive even of the food section of the Allentown Morning Call. The features were filled with attractive photos of the entertainers and informative interviews.

Tryzub presented the entertainment in partnership with the United States Census Bureau, which maintained a special presence at this year’s festival of freedom. The bureau disseminated valuable information about the census that it will be taking in the spring of 2010.

Taras Demerson

Taras Demerson of the dance group “The Kozaks” (Toronto) leaps into the air while performing the Kozatsky Dance.
Photo by Carl Kosola/ Intelligencer-Record newspaper

The agency’s partnership specialist, Jesse D. Selness, addressed the audience. He underscored the importance of the census to America, to its representative form of democracy and to local communities and ethnic groups. Our government allocates trillions of dollars based upon census results. Many strategic decisions, national and international, in both the public and in the private sectors are made based upon US Census statistics and studies.

Kozaks Pozvynets

Kozaks perform Pozvunets

Mr. Selness also made Ukrainians and other ethnic groups aware that (a) there is a special section in the 2010 form that allows persons to list their ethnic heritage; and (b) that information gathered from an individual in the census is jealously guarded and protected through privacy statutes. “It’s easy, it’s important and it’s safe”, said Selness. “It’s in our hands: You being counted will help the Ukrainian community for the next ten years”, proclaimed a festival banner.

The stage show also included a magic act by the brothers Kovkiv of Philadelphia. A Zabava to the tunes of Luna followed.

Hutsul Bank Kozaks

“Hutsul Band” by The Kozaks. Photos by Chris Syzonenko

Festival goers also had an opportunity to visit an arts and crafts bazaar and to snack on tasty homemade Ukrainian ethnic and barbecue grilled foods. One non-Ukrainian first-timer said: “Wow! A fantastic show– before today, I knew nothing about these folks, let alone how engaging, thrilling and beautiful they and their customs are. They did a great job; we had a wonderful time.”

By Eugene A. Luciw

Additional festival photos: