IREKS 2010

Since the the independence of Estonia in 1991, participation in Estonian folk music and dancing has waned in North America.  In 2006, to reverse this trend and energize our young people to our traditions, the Estonian Folk Dancers of the Washington D.C. area, called Pillerkaar, organized a major dance festival: 
Ida Ranniku Eesti Küla Simman  which means East Coast Estonian Village Festival or IREKS  for short. 
 
 

We invited all the Estonian dance groups we knew, but found that many of them – from New YorkTorontoConnecticutLakewood – had dispersed. Who was left? The Baltimore Estonia House had a children’s program, but only PortlandOregon had a program as active as Pillerkaar’s.

 

To widen the appeal of the Simman, we elected to host a major dance group from Estonia – Kandali. And we invited our fellow Balts to dance with us. The results were spectacular – an integrated Baltic celebration on April 28, 2007, that brought in nine dance groups, singers, an all-Baltic string band, and an audience of 350 people – Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, as well as non-Balts.  

 

The event was held near Dulles Airport in northern Virginia. All agreed that it was a memorable occasion, and that we should do it again. So here it is, 2010, and another IREKS is coming in a few months – a festival that will include three Estonian groups, four Lithuanian groups, two Latvian groups, and various singers and instrumentalists.

 

Our hope is that these festivals will be fun for our young people – so that they will really look forward to taking part in traditional Baltic cultures. Our three nations share much history, after all, and we can help each other remain strong and viable in changing times.

Where and When?

Due to the success of IREKS 2007 and 2008, there will be another 
IREKS on Saturday April 17, 2010 at the Lithuanian Hall from 12-6 pm
in Baltimore, Maryland, just a few blocks from the bay. 

We have listed the names of some hotels at the Inner Harbor  
in the section below which are fairly close to the Lithuanian Hall.  

You will have time on Sunday to visit the beautiful Baltimore 
Inner Harbor if you have never seen it.

                 

                                            Lithuanian Hall
                                     851-853 Hollins Street
                                      Baltimore, MD  21201
                                         1-410-685-5787

                 As street parking is limited, please see below for 
                                 information on where to park
.