After a week of Ukrainian American Heritage Foundation Workshop, or "Dance Camp" as the participants call it, the kids and a bevy of professional dancers, singers and musicians are ready to celebrate with an open-to-the-public Ukrainian Folk Festival commemorating the Ukrainian Independence Day of August 24, 1991.

Ukrainian folk dance marries lyrical dance steps with wild gymnastic moves. The dance campers range in age from 5 through their 20s.

It will be a weekend of Ukrainian music, foods, arts & crafts, culture and history as the 19th annual Ukrainian Folk Festival is held at the Ukrainian Homestead, 1230 Beaver Run Drive in Lehighton today from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m.

This year's program features performances by the Kashtan Ukrainian Dance Ensemble from Cleveland Ohio, Ukrainian violinist Inessa Tymochko-Dekjalo, vocal ensembles-the Dobriansky Brothers quartet from New York and the Dzvin Ukrainian Male Choir from Philadelphia, and local favorite-the Kazka Ukrainian Folk Ensemble from Pottsville, Schuylkill County.

This year's special feature is a Ukrainian Cossack encampment complete with horseback riding.

Performances on Saturday are at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., with one show on Sunday at 1:30 p.m..

The festival also features an array of ethnic and American food and refreshments, a pierogie eating contest, ethnic traditional craft vendors, and swimming for the kids.

There will be demonstrations of embroidery, gerdany (beadweaving), pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs) and traditional Ukrainian ritual bread. A dance will be held on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the Homestead chapel on Sunday at 11 a.m.

For more information, visit www.ukrhomestead .com or call (610) 377-4621.