The 5th Annual
19 & 20 September 2009

It’s hard to believe that our 5th Romanian Festival has already come and gone! Weeks, in fact months of preparations by a few very dedicated individuals, along with many helping hands and kind hearts all helped make this year’s RomFest the largest and most successful to date! 

The weather could not have been better… as we moved this year’s event a few weeks earlier to try and take advantage of the end of summer! The grounds were spruced up to put our best forward for our guests. The ladies spent days baking in the kitchen… the office telephones rang off the hook… Emails and inquiries came in and out as people eagerly made plans to attend.

We were happy to again welcome His Grace Bishop IRINEU and Fr Sebastian who were with us throughout the weekend. Of course, we were thrilled to offer the renowned folklore ensemble JUNII SIBIULUI, their orchestra, with soloists Mariana Anghel, (Fr) Cristian Pomohaci, Daniel Rosalim, and Anca Marginean, who entertained everyone with dances and songs from across the provinces of Romania. Additionally, we thank RAPSODIA ensemble of Windsor for again performing and our ROMANASUL ensemble for their program composed and directed by Dna Violeta Viorica Maria Balasa.

A great variety of home-made foods satisfied our guests… tocana de pui, mamaliga cu branza, thousands of hand-rolled sarmale and mititei, salads, clatite, placinte cu branza, “timisoreana” beer, assortments of imported wines, freshly pressed grape “must”, and more! The lines throughout Saturday and Sunday in the main hall, the courtyard gratar (grill), gradina café, bar and crama (wine cellar) told the story.

Generous families and businesses from the parish and friends of our community contributed to our well-received ad-book, which is an important source of income for the festival. Specialty t-shirts again were a popular hit with new designs added for this year! A market-place at the outdoor Café set a good foundation for an expanded area next year… and the children’s area, complete with real horse and pony rides was a big hit for everyone!

Crowds moved around the complex, taking advantage of tours in the Cathedral, our beautiful services, the gift-shop, bakery, museum room, special displays, etc. Everyone was orderly and appreciative of not only our facility, but the organization of and purpose of this festival. It is quickly growing into a great source of pride not just for the Cathedral but in the eyes of the public on behalf of our Romanian community here in Detroit.

Several comments were made by our guests, complimenting the attractions and food. Neighbors and friends of parishioners, visitors from Ann Arbor, Ohio and Romania all expressed their satisfaction and assured us of their return in the future!

Each name that contributed to RomFest09 cannot be mentioned here, but a heart-felt thank you is offered to our organizing committee: Fr Laurence (Supervision) & Psa Anita Lazar (Museum), Fr Sabin (Supervision) & Psa Ramona Pop (Museum), Gheorghe & Viorica Placinta (Kitchen & Bar), Virgil & Emilia Barbu (Kitchen), Anne Sidau (Museum), Ana Camelia Vasilescu (Vendors), Maranda Tipa (Café)… with each of their committee members and helpers! Participation was open to the entire parish starting in June, and these good people stepped forward to give an extra effort that cannot be appreciated in words alone. So, along with the many volunteers (young and old) who offered a helping hand during the weekend itself, we should all thank them for their dedication and hard-work. Also, we   acknowledge Cezarina Hritcu (Office Secretary), Gheorghe & Florica Babiciu (Caretakers), Fred Klus (Treasurer), for their special efforts. It should also be recognized that parishioners opened their homes to host our entertainers for almost an entire week! For this generous effort, we thank Fam. Viorel Nikodin, Fam. Vasile Cocariu. These people all gave of themselves for the good of our church, and for that Our Lord will reward them.

Yes, we could have made more money… yes, there could be more people… yes, we need more volunteers… yes, even more advanced planning is necessary… yes, increased sponsorships and supports is essential… yes, several people could have stepped forward physically and financially (without being asked or even begged to help) in support of the event but chose not to.    However, we can also say without any doubt, that YES! It was a great success… YES! The more than 1,500 people that attended had a wonderful time… YES! The good name of our Cathedral as the mother church of Detroit’s Romanian community was again maintained and elevated to new heights… YES! People young and old left “cu o voie buna” (a good feeling) in their hearts and minds and will hopefully return again to us soon! These realities are just as important as any dollar made. I hope we are all proud of who we are, and will continue to open our doors to all who enter…

An event such as this takes more work than most can imagine. If, however, we remember that what we do is for the Glory of God and His Church, in the name of our Romanian-American community… and if we offer these gifts with a good heart and proper spirit, then Our Lord will not only take care  of us, but will help strengthen us to increase our good works and parish for the future. This church belongs to all who choose to make it their home. We must embrace this responsibility and share our treasures for   its benefit, and by doing so we will benefit  as well!

Thank you again to all of you, those known and unknown… and we look forward to an even brighter and more successful Festival in 2010!

Vă mulţumim din suflet!

John E Lazar, General Chairman


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Dan makes lots and lots of mamaliga
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Laura, JE Lazar & Ina take a break for a picture
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"Romanasul" ensemble performs a suite of songs
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Ramona with Sebastian before taking a ride
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The horse & pony rides were a huge hit
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Ana Vasilescu displays her artwork
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"Jeanie's Gems", by the Mihaiu family
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Monica Bortos sells her cosmetic products
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Anca Marginean of Sibiu was a guest soloist
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Cornel Ivascu sells mititei at the outdoor grill
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Home-made pastries were sold at the bakery
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Caretakers Florica & Gheorghe in costume
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The ladies display some of their baked goods
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Vasile with a dancer from Junii Sibiului
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Ina & Laura prepare orders at the main buffet
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The "mamaliga girls" are all smiles on quick break
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Hand-embroidered blouses proudly displayed 
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The dance floor was full all weekend long
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Gabrielle & Zach show off their new shirts
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Alexandru smiles as he takes a ride 
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Sandra & Ioana selling raffle tickets
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Virgil & Nick with adopted Romanian bartender
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Cezar, Fr Sabin, Nicoleta, & Vlad
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G Babiciu & V Nikodin at the Crama
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G Vincent & M Cristache selling tickets
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Cezarina was busy at the parish gift shop
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Laurie & Sue make clatite in the cafe
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Maria shows off her new purchase with a smile
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Stephen (the Romanian cowboy) takes a ride
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"Junii Sibiului" with Cathedral clergy
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The bishop & Placintas, Lazars, Pops, &  Barbus
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Friends smile as they enjoy the festival
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Even the littlest enjoyed the weekend
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 Guests enjoy the "hora" as the orchestra plays
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Ioana & friend smile for the camera
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 Thousands of mititei were made by hand
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 Luminita prepares vegetables for the salad
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The Simians loaned their hand-made "poarta"/ gate
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 Mariana Tipa was in charge of the clatite
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 "Fonelogic" reps take a photo together
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Carmen & Leah selling the unique t-shirt line
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 Maranda shows her expertise on the grill
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 The weather was perfect all weekend
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The "Crama" sold a variety of wines and 'must'
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 Michael, Greg & Virgil (our utility workers)
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 "Junii" performs on the main stage
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A partial view of the main hall on Saturday
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 Partial view of crowded Metes Hall 
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 View of the main stage under "stema si tricolor"
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Preoteasa Lazar with her student Mitch
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(Fr) Cristian Pomohaci performed Saturday 
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 Cristina with her friend smile for the camera
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Maranda & Ana show off their worker t-shirts
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 Mihaela & Bob take a turn serving at the Crama
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 Junii dancers thrill the audience on Sunday
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The Romanian "tricolor" was proudly displayed
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 Soloists Daniel Rosalim & Mariana Anghel
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 Junii dancers show a variety of costumes
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Mariana Anghel offered a "priceasna" at Liturgy
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 Faithful came forward to receive Holy Communion
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 Bishop Irineu offers the sermon in the Cathedral
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Children come forward to venerate the cross
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 Clergy who served at the Sunday Liturgy
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 Anthony, John, Ana, & Elizabeth all helped out
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Some members of "Romanasul" Ensemble
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 Claudia serves wine at the Crama
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