As Saskatoon’s Folkfest gets ready to enter day two of the three-day festival, volunteers and pavilion managers diligently work to reset venues as if it were a brand new festival.
It’s part of the Folkfest machine that keeps churning out good times, food and entertainment for its patrons.
Working around the city are upwards of 5,000 volunteers coming together to see a multitude of cultures flourish for a weekend.
Carol Shinkewski, the Ukrianian Karpaty pavilion volunteer coordinator, has an especially tough job each year.
She spends months prior to Folkfest figuring out how 300 volunteers can fill 576 positions that make the weekend go so smoothly for patrons.
Some even miss work to give their time to the pavilion.
“A lot of our volunteers are not Ukrainian people, but they are want-to-be Ukrainians,” Shinkewski said with a proud smile.
“A lot of them take holidays for this time so they are able to help us at the pavilion.”
While patrons may latch onto the Hutzul Hammers — a signature shooter at the Ukrainian Karpaty pavilion — most people line up for the food.
Whether it be the cabbage rolls, perogies or borscht, Shinkewski knows Saskatoon shows up hungry.
According to her estimates, this is how much food the pavilion served up in 2017:
60 gallons of sour cream
19,260 cabbage rolls
190 gallons of borscht
It’s something Shinkewski has trouble believing when she tallies the numbers each year.
“It’s mind boggling to think that many perogies would be consumed in three days,” she said.
Shinkewski knows her pavilion and many others like it across the city, wouldn’t be much to celebrate without the volunteer workforce.
“We have the best volunteers,” Shinkewski said before turning and speaking as if she was speaking to each volunteer personally.
“Thank you for coming and treating our guests with respect and showing them how much we enjoy them.”