The Easter celebration at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church will come a little earlier this year.
The parish’s annual Easter Bazaar will be held Saturday at the Pulaski Street church, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The party, which features traditional Ukrainian foods such as pierogi, cabbage rolls, Ukrainian sausage and “paska” (Easter bread), has been held on Palm Sunday in past years.
“It interfered with the church services,” said longtime parish member Myron Swidersky. “We decided this year to see how it would do on Saturday. It’s a tradition in Amsterdam for over 40 years.”
Decorated Easter eggs will also be part of the celebration. Xrystyna and Olya Szyjka will demonstrate the art of “pysanky,” making Ukrainian Easter eggs, from 1 until 3 p.m.
This year, hearts will be a little heavier. Swidersky said many are deeply concerned about tensions in the Crimean peninsula, a part of Ukraine that was recently annexed by Russia.
“Many of us still have family in Ukraine,” Swidersky said. “The situation gets worse every day.”
He added, “Life has to go on.” And the church needs the bazaar to help maintain parish operations.
“We are a small community,” Swidersky said. “Church members and donations are not enough to support our parish, our priest and our buildings.”
On Wednesday, women made potato and cheese pierogi in the church kitchen. Swidersky said the pantry should be full of food by Saturday. “The last couple years, we ran out of food at 2 o’clock,” he said. “That’s why the ladies are working today and tomorrow.”
Still, Swidersky suggests people who like Ukrainian food arrive early on Saturday.
“The early bird gets the best pick,” he said.