Recapping the Russian Winter Festival at Proctors

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Golden Rooster Russian Winter Festival
The “Golden Rooster” children ensemble perform at the GE Theater

“I love international festivals and we are so blessed in this area. Every year they move, but I think having it here at Proctors Theater is the best,” said Maureen Duggan, an attendee of the annual Russian Winter Festival.

For the past six years, Duggan and her husband have made a point of participating in the festival modeled after Maslenitsa, the Russian “mardi gras,” sometimes translated as “blini pancake” week. With a growing Russian-speaking population in the Capital Region, the festival has not repeated the same venue twice.

The first year it was the Crossings Park in Colonie, then the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, followed by the Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, again in Albany at the Egg in 2012 and last year, the Italian American Community Center. This year, the general consensus rates the Proctors Theater in Schenectady as the best.

In addition to colorful, authentic costumes, if you were at Proctors you enjoyed charming folk performances, poetry contests, craft vendors, fine art exhibits and even eccentric moments. Scenes from a quirky movie called Morozko was missing several subtitles and the storyline was so outlandish that translation was definitely needed.

Still, the festival grows bigger and better every year despite the quirks and the changing venue or maybe it’s because of it…