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Desna Cup sports and culture festival returns to Federal Way
As one of Federal Way's biggest sports and cultural festivals, the annual Desna Cup returns this month with soccer, volleyball, food and activities for the whole family.
Now in its sixth year, Desna Cup runs Aug. 16-17 at Saghalie Middle School. Last year's event attracted more than 3,000 people.
Russian immigrants Leonid Lisitsyn and Veronika Lisitsyna came to Federal Way 13 years ago. With the city's ethnic diversity in mind, the couple started Desna Cup as a way to bring cultures together. They named the event after the Desna River, which runs through their native country.
"We're looking forward to seeing more nations represented," Leonid Lisitsyn said. "Come and learn about the people that live around you."
Soccer teams from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Canada will compete. Spectators can check out volleyball, tug-of-war and arm-wrestling competitions.
A new exhibit titled "It's a Wonderful World" will showcase the food, culture, history and traditions of countries that were once home to immigrants who now reside in the Puget Sound region.
Countries represented at this year's event include India, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Albania and Montenegro. Exhibits will display arts, crafts, costumes, souvenirs, photos, videos, ethnic foods, dancing and music.
Desna Cup also received a Tourism Enhancement Grant worth $2,000 from the City of Federal Way.
"This is an amazing group of people who are very appreciative of the United States and what they have here," Federal Way City Councilmember Susan Honda told The Mirror in an email. "This festival has been around for six years and gets bigger and better each year."
Check it out
Desna Cup 2013 runs 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 16 (music concert) and noon to 9 p.m. Aug. 17 at Saghalie Middle School, 33914 19th Ave. SW. The event features a variety of sporting activities, a diverse cultural performance program, kids’ activities, a variety of ethnic foods, and fun for the whole family. Representatives of various different nationalities will display “country exhibits.” Admission is free. Food is available for purchase (cash only). Learn more at www.desnasoccer.org or call (253) 334-2222.