St. Stephen’s Day celebration at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California

As always, the 59th San Francisco Hungarian National Day celebrations were held in beautiful Golden Gate Park. My wife and I attend every year.

Many of you might be surprised to learn that the weather is quite cold in August in the Bay Area. You need a jacket, may not expect much sun; it is mostly foggy in San Francisco, California. The location of the St. Stephen’s Day celebration is spectacular, in the so called ‘museum district’ next to the DeYoung Museum. The Music Concourse was built in 1894 for the Mid-Winter Fair and in 1900 the City added a beautiful Music Stand which is also known as Spreckels Temple of Music.

The podium is a popular place to hold music performances on Sundays, and the Park has a regular orchestra, the Golden Gate Park Band led by Michael L. Wirgler They played Kodály, Lehár and Erkel pieces; Mr. Wirgler is a great band leader and an emcee with great timing and the right amount of humor.

As always, The First Hussar Regiment of California presented the Colors, the US and Hungarian flags. Needless to say the kids loved the horses.

From the hour-long program I really enjoyed Ms. Zina Bozzay’s Népdalkör, the traditional folk songs from Magyarbőd and Moldova. The Eszterlánc Hungarian Folkdance Ensemble spiced up the event, Honorary Consul, Éva Voisin and Dr. Zoltán Egyed spoke, dancers Imre and Anikó Ragoncza performed and Diana Pray sang an Erkel aria. This event is “English only”, most of the audience don’t speak Hungarian.

Many thanks to Mr. András Rékay who coordinates and organizes this event every year. It is not a small task to put together the program and for many decades he has done an excellent job.

András Rékay

András Rékay

First time ever a YouTube video is available about this unique celebration from Bay Area MagyarTV. St. Stephen’s Day in San Francisco. Enjoy!

György Lázár

One Comment

  1. Earl Marty Price says:

    I just want to thank you for your posts. My mother was Hungarian, and of course her parents. So I was raised with so much of the culture and language, most of which I have lost. i have had several visits to relatives in Budapest and Pecel. I am lucky that mom and her fav cousin corresponded all their live and kept the family close, as my grandfather came with the fall of the council republic. Then we had the immigration from the Nazi’s and then the 56 wave. Three separate waves, but all close family. So for almost a 100 yrs family ties have been maintained, and of course family going back and forth. Thanks for what you do, and maybe next year I will remain in the cool Bay Area instead of the sunny beach of Mexico for St Stephens Day!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *