Russian Mosaic Festival 2010

October 27, 2010 - 4 Comments

by Jim Barnes

This was submitted by Reenactorpost Correspondent, Mike Momot:

The Russian Mosaic Festival

19 September 2010

Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, PA

The Russian Mosaic Festival is a celebration of Russian life and culture and includes the many republics of the former Soviet Union. People come from far and wide to celebrate in the festivities at this fine event. Food, drink, song, and dance are in abundance as are many vendors that cater to the people of this rich culture.

This was the third year that the 193rd Rifle Division was in attendance. Our unit portrays and honors the men and women of the Great Patriotic War, 1941-45 who fought against the rule of Hitler and his invading Nazi armies. We are living historians and re-enactors and hold no political affiliations nor do we promote any of the ideals or beliefs of Stalin and his former regime.

My daughter and I have attended each of the last three years, since the 193rd has been invited, and this year was by far our unit’s largest and most impressive display. It was a bright and sunny day with the moderate temperatures of late summer, early autumn one would desire. Our location was pure perfection (Spaciba Mikhail Zorich) by the main gate on high and level ground. The food vendors were close at hand and the beer was near, not that I am condoning an unhealthy life choice here, speaking as one of our unit’s medics.

Our Starshii Ludas presented an excellent communications display along with his cavalry mount and uniform. In addition to his radio, his barrel of grog is a real conversation piece! Also sharing the space with Ludas was one of two new recruits, Dmitri, our sniper and a native Russian, if I am not mistaken. Next to Ludas was our Serzhant Don with his kit and weapon of choice (the Mauser pistol) favored by that gent from England, Sir Winston Churchill. What no one realized is that Don is secretly NKVD. This is how they operate comrades so watch what you say. You never know when they are near. We also had another new recruit, Stefan, in attendance with us. New blood is sorely needed after our battles in Stalingrad.

Our unit had the pleasure of a special guest: Kim Balashak, author of the book Ruskaya Elochnaya Igrushka, and presenter of the finest post card collection of this period in Russian history. Kim’s collection is most impressive and one you must see. I imagined myself on the front at this time receiving one of these post cards from my loved ones at home. These were cards that were cherished and inspirational to those sacrificing so much for their country and loved ones.

Next to Don and Kim was Alexei presenting the DP28. Alexei was attired in M35 uniform and kit. Alexei displayed an impressive early war backpack and roll, and a most authentic one at that! We’ll save that story for another time. Alexei was sharing space our medic Mladshi Serzhant Alina Kulilova, and yours truly. Stretcher and kit were on hand to deal with any emergency.

In the tent next to ours was our Lieutenant, Boris. Boris presented Comrade Maxim to the public along with his PPS 43 and items of daily comfort and convenience one would expect an officer in the Workers and Peasants Red Army to have in his possession. Next to Boris was our White Russian and Great War veteran Keith Allen. Keith has many fine articles and very well presented. This give you a nice transition of the Army into the period of Great Patriotic War. Also in this area was our Cossack tovarish, a native Russian himself. See the accompanying pictures.

This event was very well attended. We had many visitors and fielded many questions. We listened to stories, shared the history and culture, and had an all around great time. Three years in a row now. That’s three years of great weather, great people and great memories. Be sure to check this event out if you live in the Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey region, or happen to be in the Philadelphia area for a visit. You can make a weekend of it and visit the battleship USS Olympia and berthed nearby, the WWII sub Becuna. Just a short jaunt across the Delaware River and you can visit the battleship USS New Jersey. If you have a little more time you can go site seeing around our Nation’s first capital or visit one of our Revolutionary War battlefields like Valley Forge, Brandywine or the fort that saved America – Ft. Mifflin.

This Russian Mosaic Festival is held the third weekend of each September. Don’t miss it!

Pictures by Mike Momot and Jim Barnes

Comments (4)


October 28th, 2010 at 9:10 pm    

Alexei, always the ladies man! Enjoyed having you visit us for the weekend. I look forward to your participation next year and the offer still stands. Make a longer weekend of it next year and we can get in some additional sightseeing and maybe a bit of the nightlife, old man!

We love the Russian Mosaic. To present living history to those with an interest in their culture and their past is a truly rewarding experience. And the people of non-Russian background I just can’t say enough about. The kids were spectacular. Too bad we in this country, especially our generation Jim, have gotten a very “Westernized” view of history and this culture. It would be ideal to present “Mosaics” of all cultures so people can see and learn for themselves. I think, maybe naively so, that all anybody wants is to be understood.

Thank you organizers of the Mosaic. Keep up your great work!


Jim Barnes

October 28th, 2010 at 9:38 pm    

Spaceba for your hospitality, Misha. I had a fine time. I’m sure that I will take you up on your offer.

The Mosaic is fantastic. I can’t wait for the next one.

Kim Balaschak

November 2nd, 2010 at 12:42 pm    

What a lovely summary, Mike, of a terrific event, Mikhail! It was my pleasure to be a part of the 193rd Rifle Division’s exhibition and a privelege to share my WWII New Year postcards with so many interested visitors. Congratulations and all the best for future endeavors.


November 2nd, 2010 at 1:15 pm    

Trully a remarkable event!! Thousands of people, many cultural displays! I hope it will get only bigger and better as it always does!

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