The Balkan Peninsula is an area known for its rich traditions and history, and from these roots many diverse cultures have sprung up. To celebrate these cultures, and what they have in common, the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival brings together the best of the Balkans and shares it with all of New York.
Now in its 30th year, the Golden Festival is a celebration of Balkan culture featuring music, live acts, food, drinks, and a market; all chock full of tradition and the heritage of the region. The two day festival takes part in The Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn and features over 50 live acts and bands over its duration, including the titular Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band who produces the festival every year. This internationally know band whose name means “Golden Lips” are composed of American-born musicians playing traditional music of the Balkans, primarily representing Serbian, Macedonian, Bulgarian and Romany (Gypsy) traditions.
The festival also features traditional Balkan cuisine provided by local caterers who represent the best of over a dozen ethnic communities in New Jersey and New York City. Traditional Balkan and Greek wines, spirits, and sodas are available to liven up the night as well as many local craft beers and regular domestic drinks. Full stomachs and memories of the festival aren’t the only thing visitors are encouraged to take away. The charshiya market-place offers a unique selection of artwork and crafts as well as music, clothing, and jewelry to keep the spirit of the Balkans alive in your own heart. Artisans are more than willing to share stories of their crafts and are always happy to assist customers with finding what they want.
Balkan tradition dictates that every guest be welcomed, and at the Golden Festival, there are no strangers. Visit for an hour or stay the entirety of both days, but know that your time will be spent in the company of good friends and new neighbors.
The festival dates are January 15 – 16, 2016.