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Crowds Enjoy Traditions, Fun at 63rd Village

Thursday marks final night of annual McKeesport tradition

By Vickie Babyak
The Tube City Almanac
August 17, 2023
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Chris Starry from McKeesport and Norma Kwiecinski from Irwin with her grandson, 5-year-old Liam. Starry and Kwiecinski have been friends for a long time and both have attended International Village for years. Kwiecinski said, “I’m introducing my grandson to International Village for the first time.” “I really like the halushki from the Croatian booth,” said Liam. (Vickie Babyak photos for Tube City Almanac)

If you go...


McKeesport’s 63rd International Village

Where: Stephen Barry Field, Renziehausen Park (Eden Park Boulevard)

When: 3 to 9 p.m. today (Aug. 17)

Admission: $2 for adults

Website: www.internationalvillage.info

Families of all generations have been enjoying one of the area’s biggest events since 1960 and have honored their roots while learning about other cultures.

The City of McKeesport is wrapping up its 63rd annual International Village at Stephen Barry Field in Renziehausen Park today. The ethnic heritage celebration ran from Tuesday through Thursday. Food, live entertainment and polka music are a huge attraction for many people of all backgrounds.

Live coverage will be available beginning at 5 p.m. on YouTube via Tube City Community Media Inc.

When International Village began, it was held as part of a larger event called “Old Home Week” on Market Street, Downtown. Many of the traditions started at the first “village” has carried over to the modern day International Village.

Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance was practicing their routine before performing on stage Tuesday night. Tricia DeYoung, mother of one of the dancers, says her daughter has been dancing for 11 years and students range from 7 to 17 years old. Liz Shovlin-Grinko and Sheila Shovlin own the studio and it’s their first experience dancing for International Village, she said.

Thomas Jefferson International Club president Ayomide Solotan is also a dancer. She said in her freshman year, she and the other students went to their Spanish teacher, Elizabeth Floyd, to say they would like to showcase their own cultures. “It’s how we got started and have been working hard for two years,” said Solotan.

Colleen Mycoff and her 10-year-old daughter Emma are from Upper St. Clair. Emma said, “I like the different music and dancers. It’s interesting to learn about the cultural things and different styles of dance. I think it's important to know about other cultures.”

Christina Culver from Connellsville has been attending International Village since she was a little girl and Slovak dancing on the main stage. She said she likes to ask people what culture they are and is surprised that a lot of people don’t know. “I think culture is a big part of life and it's important to know where our roots come from,” said Culver.

The Grecian Odyssey Dancers performed Tuesday night on the main stage.

Originally published August 17, 2023.

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