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I am not a part of the organizers of this interesting happening, so therefore maybe, what I write wonít be exact, and I wonít be able to remember everything. I am one of those persons that were able to visit and be inspired by The Hontianska Parada 1997 and pass along a report about it further:

Where does the Hont's Parade take place? In village called Hrusov, hidden between hills of the Krupina hill range in the western part of Velky Krtis County.

How is village Hrusov? Happy, smiling, hospitable and able, warmly welcomes everyone that comes to their houses, courtyards, and hamlets. Rich in folklore and folk traditions.

When does the Hont's Parade take place? At the end of August, when everybody is coming home from summer vacations "we are flying home to our birth places," the holidays are coming to an end and the summer is using its last warm beams.

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Who organizes Honts Parade? Very many enthusiasts, but first of all, village Hrusov, Prebudena Piesen Society, Matica Slovenska, Slovak Agency for tourism, Association of Farmers cooperatives of Velky Krtis, and many others whose numbers are getting close to 100.

What's then The Hont's Parade? Live introduction of different chores of a farmers, craftsmen and the lifestyle of the past with the possibility to try in the authentic surroundings on your own skin and with your own hands try everything with which the Slovak village lived in the past. Possibility not only to learn something but also to taste something good that they used to cook in the past, bake and even destined in houses.

Where else you will have possibility to stay under the roof of good people that will take care of you as if you were their own family? Traditional way of craft making you can see in many skanzens, the open-air folk museums in Slovakia, but bread baking with tasting of freshly baked bread, burning of coal and making charcoal while drinking a glass of good wine given to you for your interest shown in this tradition, or being a judge by tasting the home brew yourself in the competition for the best home distilled pear brandy, things like these are only offered in Hrusov. Add to this the possibility of having a snack and a drink in different courtyards. Farmer's co-op had vegetable specialties. Pub had original gypsy music and offering of a real Farmer's lunch, Beekeepers court yard had honey cookies, cakes and home brewed honey drink, Hunters had original Hrusov's goulash served near Hrusov's rarity, cellars carved into side of a rock hill and at the end in the Fishermen's courtyard local fishermen were inviting you for a fish perkelt (goulash with sour cream) so good that I am sure it would be eaten even by people not liking fish.

After all this, when your legs are hurting from all-day acquainting with the local specialties and surroundings, the stage of the new amphitheater is waiting for you, where you will be transformed into the middle of a wedding-unbelievably live picture of a Hont's wedding presented by Hontís folk groups, followed by programs with folk traditions of all generations from close and far-away, that last until late night.

Last day of Hrusov's Parade is Sunday. A day of rest starts with Hrusov's celebratory mass, joined with pilgrimage to the Calvary. In the afternoon the final performances by the best folk dance groups of Slovakia: Zeleziar from Kosice, and Partizan from Slovenska Lupca.

Beautiful end to days of happiness, pleasant experiences, and friendly meetings.

If you decided that this year of Hrusov's Parade can't be without your presence, well write down this date 21-23 August 1998 and also the phone number for information 011-421-854-910-122, 910-127 or 910-137.

See You in Hrusov, friends.

Hana Zelinova


Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 6, No. 1, Spring 1998
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 1998 
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.