Share |

New Brunswick Celebrates Rich History at Annual Hungarian Festival

Somerset Street Packed With Visitors and Residents Celebrating Neighborhood's Strong Ties to Hungarian Culture
Hungarian Festival
Somerset Street was crowded and food lines were long at this year's Hungarian festival. Dawud Naz Dockery

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—People from all over the region enjoyed the festivities associated with New Brunswick's 39th Annual Hungarian Festival this past Saturday, June 7.

Much of Somerset and Plum streets were closed to automobile traffic to accomodate the large affair.  Hungarians from near and far, as well as neighborhood residents cashed in on the gorgeous weather, filling the streets.

As we reported last year, the festival begins with a parade and opening ceremony.

The atmosphere thereafter was that of a pleasant street fair.  Many people could be spotted in traditional Hungarian clothing.

Entertainment options included a couple live bands playing traditional Hungarian tunes and a variety of performances inside the Hungarian American Athletic Association.

Aside from the cuisine and music, attendees were able to visit the children’s attraction, which included arts and crafts, inflatable games, and face painting. 

The festivities were even more special this year because the festival coincides with a new exhibit celebrating another famous Hungarian innovation.

To honor the 40th anniversary of a famous Hungarian invention, the Rubik's Cube, the museum of the Hungarian American Foundation opened a new exhibition showcasing a vast collection of them.

Created by Hungarian Erno Rubik, the cube was a must-have toy in the 1980's and remains popular today.  Andrew Farkas of Connecticut shared his large collection with the museum, located at 300 Somerset Street in  New Brunswick. 

The exhibit will be on display through January 31st, 2015.

The museum for the American Hungarian Foundation also hosted an exhibition of the work of renowned ceramicist Eva Ziesel; 'Eva Ziesel Life, Design and Beauty.'

The museum, which was established in 1959, offers an array of exhibits that include native Hungarian and Hungarian-American art, garnering over 80,000 visitors since it’s opening in 1980. 

NEW BRUNSWICK'S HUNGARIAN HISTORY

Although many have moved out the city, Hungarians are still a presence in New Brunswick, which includes the Hungarian American Athletic Club, four churches, numerous foundations, and the museum.

In the 1930's, it was estimated that the Hungarian community made up one quarter of the residents of New Brunswick.

The city also saw a new wave of immigration in 1956, where refugees were brought over to Piscataway, from the failed Hungarian Revolution.

A memorial dedicated to the victims of the revolution stands at Mindszenty Square at 219 Somerset Street, near St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Church.

A photo gallery from the 39th Annual Hungarian Festival is available on the New Brunswick Today Facebook page.