New York State In-depth

The Syracuse Ukrainian Festival will serve up an insane number of pierogies in two weekends

This year, the team behind the pyrohy, or pierogies, at Ukrainian Fest decided to conduct an official count.

The results: 19,300 pyrohy. That’s four for every person who lives in Tipperary Hill. Plus leftovers.

“You can’t make that many pyrohys without a lot of people being involved,” said Nick Fruscello, the principal organizer of the festival.

“It’s a coming together of the community and … showing folks we’re strong and doing the best we can to help.”

For the first time since 2019, the Ukrainian Festival will be held in person on Friday and Saturday (July 29 and 30) outside St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church on Tipperary Hill. It’s the 80th year for the festival, back after two years off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But this year, the festival will occur while war continues in Ukraine, where many Syracuse Ukrainians have family and friends.

The festival, named “80 Years Strong,” will be a moment for the local community to find support from one another, said Fruscello.

“I think it gives them good hope that there’s a place … where they can feel a part of the Ukrainian community, while all of this is still happening and might even be happening with their families,” said Fruscello, who is second generation Ukrainian.

In addition to potato-stuffed pyrohy, there will be holubtsi cabbage rolls, kielbasa smoked sausage rolls, borscht, kapusta sauerkraut, hamburgers and hot dogs for sale, plus specially-brewed beers: “Hero’s Glory” from Meier’s Creek and “80 Years Strong ” from Underground Beer Lab.

The beers were crafted by CNY breweries to raise aid money for Ukraine and a portion of the funds will go to humanitarian relief there. A QR code printed on the side of the beer cans will link to other charities.

The festival will also include craft vendors, Ukrainian choral performances and dance numbers from the Syracuse Ukrainian Cultural Center’s ODESA dance group. There will be free parking and the church’s doors will be open for anyone who wishes to see the inside.

The festival will be held from 4 pm to 10 pm on Friday and from noon to 10 pm on Saturday. For more information about the event, or to find the menu, go to

When: Friday, July 29 from 4 pm to 10 pm and Saturday, July 30 from noon to 10 pm

Where: St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, 207 Tompkins St., Syracuse

How much: Free

Jules Struck writes about life and culture in and around Syracuse. Contact her anytime at [email protected] or on Instagram at julesstruck.journo.

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