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City Park to host Romanian Folklore Festival

May 21, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

A three-day Romanian Folklore Festival begins today in City Park, an event one local businessman hopes will become an annual tradition.

Twenty dancers and musicians from the Cercanelul folk ensemble based in Borsa Maramures, Romania, will perform during the festival, said organizer John Enciu.

The public is invited to attend the performances for free at the pavilion in the park between 10 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday, said Enciu, owner of John's Pizza.

People can dance along to the rapid dances and music, which sounds Irish, he said.

The festival is being sponsored by the Romanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The first festival is dedicated to the memory of Titiana Mihali, a former member of the Cercanelul ensemble who died in 1991, Enciu said.

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Country music singer Valerica Mihali, Titiana's sister, will perform at the festival. With Enciu translating, Mihali said Romanian country music is closer to folk, while American country music is more like pop music.

The dancing is rapid and most comparable to square dancing with colorful costumes, said dancer Gavrila Stetco through Enciu.

People should bring their own food. Enciu said he hopes the festival will expand in future years to include food vendors.

Enciu also is looking for a local bluegrass group interested in performing in Borsa. Any musical groups interested can call Enciu at 301-582-1436.

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