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Butte's Serbian food festival back by popular demand

Posted at 5:00 PM, Aug 05, 2022

BUTTE — Members of the Serbian Orthodox Church are preparing for the Serbian food festival on Saturday, which is free for the community to enjoy Serbian recipes passed down from generation to generation.

"In my early twenties, I began helping with the church and learning even more tricks of the trade with the ladies," said Jennifer Shea.

Shea has been a member of the church all her life. She was baptized and grew up in the church, surrounded by people who shared her culture. As a junior in high school, her aunt taught her how to make the apple pita, a classic Serbian dessert.

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Members of the Serbian Orthodox Church are preparing for the Serbian food festival on Saturday free for the community

"She was a phenomenal baker and she taught me how to make the dough, how to peel the apples, the thickness of the apples, how to stretch the dough by hand," said Shea.

The festival will have music, free church tours, and classic Serbian food like the apple pita.

Father Russell Radoicich, a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church, says the funds raised will go toward restoration work of the frescoes.

"We have some restoration to do in here because we had water damage and some of the funds will go to finish the fine art to repair what has been damaged by water in here," said Radoicich.

The Holy Trinity parish was founded in 1897. In 1905, the original orthodox church was built, making it the second Serbian Orthodox church built in North America, until 1964 when it was demolished due to damages caused by underground mining. A new church was built in 1965 and from 2003 to 2006 the frescoes adorning the walls and ceilings were painted by artists from Belgrade, Serbia.

Shea is excited to share her culture through the food she learned from her family and the women in the church.

"They were very instrumental in helping with fundraisers we had that involved food and cooking and cooking our ethnic food and so I learned even more tricks of the trade from them and I just enjoy sharing my talents for the good of the church," said Shea.

The festival begins at 11 am and ends at 9 pm on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022.