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‘We want to show our traditions’: Ukrainian community honors their country at Central Florida event

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — The Ukrainian community is honoring their country, two years after it was invaded by Russia. Many showed up at the annual Ukrainian Festival in Altamonte Springs Sunday morning.

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It was a celebration of pride, but was bittersweet. “I miss my home, my friends, my family,” Tanya Vorontsova, Ukrainian Immigrant who arrived in the U.S. just a few months ago. “My whole family stayed in Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian Festival is a two-day event that celebrated the country’s culture.

With dance, traditional outfits, food, and music, visitors say it’s a way to reconnect with the homeland.

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“We want to show our traditions, and we want to say to people how beautiful is our culture,” said Maria Sverva, a vendor at the event. “We are people who lost freedom.”

Visitors took the day to mark the resilience of the Ukrainian people as the war in the Eastern European Country rages on, two years after it was invaded by Russia.

“We never thought we were going to be living abroad, but we had to do this, now we are very happy that we have a chance to show our culture, to perform in the United States,” said Natalia Feoktistova, who moved to Florida with her family after the war broke out in 2022.

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According to the Florida For Ukraine organization, there are as many as 58,000 Ukrainians living in Florida - more than 11,000 of them came here after the war — so this is a chance for many of them to reconnect with their country.

“We have a very rich culture, many different regions,” said Vasyl Boichook, Event Organizer. “If the Russians stay there for a period of time, it will all be completely gone.

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