“Felizonda” will take place on Avenida de Lagos over four days
Shortly after the war in Ukraine was launched in February 2022, the Ukrainian community in the Algarve and nonprofit organisation ORANTA hosted its first cultural festival, “Felizonda”, in May in Lagos. Over 3,000 attended the event.
The goals of the festival were to celebrate and share Ukrainian’s rich culture with Portuguese residents and expats, raise morale for the Ukrainian community living in Portugal, including recent refugees, and give thanks for the overwhelming support and warm welcome the Ukrainian community received in Portugal since the war began.
Lagos Council, Lagos Marina, and other local businesses and individual sponsors were major contributors to the success of the festival that featured live traditional music, dances and foods from Ukraine, authentic dress and handcrafted items that are unique to the Ukrainian culture.
Proceeds from the festival were used by ORANTA to purchase and repair one 4×4 ambulance and one Jeep that are now helping doctors and soldiers on the frontlines in Ukraine.
This year’s “Felizonda” Ukrainian Portuguese Festival will take place in Lagos on the Avenida de Lagos over four days: June 29 and 30, and July 1 and 2. Thousands of participants (organises estimate 40,000) are expected to attend the event this year. Admission is free.
The line-up will feature the famous 36-piece Ukrainian National Orchestra that will be brought to Portugal from Ukraine, in addition to other Ukrainian musical acts, and headlining Portuguese, English and other bands. Along with a full roster of music, the festival will have a replica of a typical Ukrainian village, traditional dances, and food trucks, jewellery and other hand-crafted items from both Ukraine and Portugal, and a children’s play area.
A live video link with the Ministry of Culture in Ukraine is also planned at some point during the festival to provide a bridge between the two countries and share the spirit of Ukrainian culture with those still living in Ukraine.
Proceeds from this year’s festival will be used to support the Centre for Rehabilitation in Ukraine. The centre, recently featured on CNN, was started by a mother who lost her son, a pilot, in the war. The centre helps the physically and psychologically traumatised soldiers and citizens of Ukraine get the support and treatment they need.
How you can help: become a sponsor; make a donation; perform at the festival (organisers are still filling the entertainment roster with Portuguese bands, and other musical acts); join the walk “Caminhando Juntos” on Sunday, July 2.
For more information, email: [email protected] or visit https://oranta.pt
More pictures of last year’s festival can be seen on Facebook
By JANE RENZI