Eat your way around the world at International Pittsburgh Folk Festival

There will be music and dancing, of course, along with an international bazaar selling handmade crafts, clothing, jewelry and books from across the globe. In keeping with its theme of "International Unity and Peace Day," the 56th International Pittsburgh Folk Festival this weekend at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum in Oakland also will feature cultural exhibits that shed light on how people live in different parts of the world.

There also will be food, and plenty of it.

Fourteen international kitchens will dish up a variety of ethnic dishes in the hall's third-floor ballroom during the two-day event, which runs April 19 and 20 -- everything from German knackwurst and Vietnamese egg rolls to yucas fritas from Peru, a Filipino rice noodle called pancit, and shawarma, a meat-filled pita-like gastronomical gift from Syria. Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, Hawaii and India also will be represented, along with Ukraine.

"And we'll also have the most exquisite homemade pastries from Hungary," says festival president Karen Hall, adding, "They're to die for."

Served a la carte, most dishes will cost between $2 and $5. Everything, Ms. Hall adds, will be handmade by volunteers from temples, churches and non-profits, "just like your grandmother would have made it."

By holding the event a month earlier than in years past, when local colleges and universities are still in session, organizers hope to double their attendance to 6,000.

The Pittsburgh Folk Festival runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Fri., April 19 and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat., April 20, at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, 4141 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Admission is $5; veterans, kids ages 12 and under and University of Pittsburgh students get in free, with proper ID. $4 for university/college students from other schools.

You can find more information at

Gretchen McKay:, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.


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