In Chicago, after the hot summer months pass by and the cooler weather sets in, it’s festival time. During August and September, the Chicago Serbian community comes out in force to celebrate Serbian heritage, traditions, culture and food! Locally, this is referred to as SERBFEST!! This year, Serbs for Serbs had the privilege of attending four of these festivals in the Chicago area.
The first Serbfest we attended in 2019 was the largest and oldest festival in Chicago. The weekend of August 9th through the 11th, we were at the Serbfest hosted by the Holy Resurrection of Christ Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) on redwood Drive in Chicago. During these three days, we were able to meet with and talk to many new donors and friends of our organization. In all, we were able to collect $1,622 in donations along with the sale of many shirts and flags to help fund the work of our organization.
Then on August 31st and September 1st, we attended the Srbijada festival, and soccer tournament hosted by SC Republika Srpska at the Serbian Brothers Help festival grounds in Lindenhurst just outside of Chicago. This was our first time attending this festival and did not know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised to see such a great turnout and many visitors to our stand. We were able to collect $1,600 in donations and again sell many t-shirts and flags. But amazingly, we were blessed to receive an individual donation in the amount of $10,000 from the owner of Compass Holdings, Mr. Roy Dobrasinovic. Maybe it was the good vibes, or perhaps it was the fact that the goalkeeper, SFS Treasure Aleksandar Krsmanovic, saved two penalties to win them the tournament, we will never know. What we do know is that this generous donation by Mr. Dobrasinovic will go a long way in helping struggling Serbian families in the Balkans.
On September 7th, we attended the smaller and more intimate Taste of Serbia at the Old Holy Resurrection of Christ SOC on Palmer Square in Chicago. Again, this festival was a first for us, and we were delighted and proud to be a part of this growing fest. We received $380 in donations and were able to start many conversations with potentially new donors to our organization.
The last festival of the summer for us was at the always supportive St. Nikola SOC in Brookfield, IL. The St. Nikola Serbfest is also one of the smaller festivals, but we always try to attend because this growing parish has been a staunch supporter of SFS since our beginning. Here we were able to collect $147 in donations along with some t-shirt sales.
We are proud of all the support and goodwill we received this summer at the now, traditional, Serbian Festivals in the Chicago area. Next year, we will try to attend all of these festivals again, and hopefully even more. Until next year.