The Romania Day Festival held in New York City celebrates the culture of Romania and seeks to bring attention to Romanian immigration to the United States. This festival draws around 25,000 people each year and has been growing in popularity since its inception in the year 2000. The Romania Day Festival is such a significant event that city officials close several blocks of Broadway to car traffic for the duration of the festival.
Date and Location
The Romania Day Festival takes place annually on the first Sunday in May. The festival is located on Broadway, between its intersections with Fulton Street and Battery Place. Activities begin in mid-morning and the festival officially ends around 6 p.m.
During the festival, Broadway is filled with vendor's stands that offer traditional Romanian foods and beverages. Artisan crafts are also offered for purchase. Dancers perform Romanian folk dances and musical groups play traditional music on a stage set up for the occasion, and invited Romanian and American dignitaries give speeches.
History and Growth
The festival originally took place along several blocks of Water Street, but due to its popularity and increased attendance, eventually moved to Broadway. Some of the notable guests over the years have included presidents of Romania, the Romanian royal family, and representatives of the mayor of New York City. The event is broadcast live on Romanian television stations to viewers on four continents.
Specialty Foods and Drinks
Romania has a rich culinary tradition and any visit to the Romania Day Festival includes sampling some of the best-known Romanian dishes. Some foods to try include: mamaliga cu branza, millet polenta with cheese, and sarmale, diced meat wrapped in cabbage leaves. Some traditional Romanian drinks include: must de struguri, a non-alcoholic grape juice, and tuica, a strong Romanian plum brandy.
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