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Lithuanian Cultural Garden 80th Anniversary

Lithuanian Cultural Garden 80th Anniversary
September 18, 2016

The Lithuanian Cultural Garden is one of the 29 and counting nationality gardens in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. It was dedicated on October 11, 1936 so the 80th anniversary of the Lithuanian Cultural Garden was celebrated on Sunday September 18, 2016.

About 150 people gathered in the lower part (MLK Blvd) of the Garden for the ceremony.

Lithuanian Garden 80th anniversary crowd


The podium was next to the bust of Jonas Basanavicius.

bust of Jonas Basanavicius

Violeta Leger, Lithuanian Cultural Garden Board Member, served as Mistress of Ceremonies and welcomed the crowd. She spoke in English and then in Lithuanian.

Violeta Leger

Violeta Leger

Violeta Leger


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Next, Honorary Consul to Lithuania Ingrida Bublys read proclamations from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and others.



Ingrida Bublys

Ingrida Bublys

Ingrida Bublys

Cleveland Councilman Mike Polensek spoke next. He congratulated the Lithuanian community for their commitment to the city of Cleveland.



Mike Polensek

Mike Polensek

Mike Polensek

Next, United States Senator Rob Portman spoke about how the freedom of the Baltics (and Ukraine and Crimea, etc.) is essential and how the US must support its allies.



Senator Rob Portman

Senator Rob Portman

Senator Rob Portman

After his speech, Senator Portman presented a US flag that was flown over the US Capitol to the Lithuanian Cultural Garden.



Senator Rob Portman gives flag to Lithuanian Cultural Garden

Next, Honorary Consul to Lithuania Ingrida Bublys thanked Senator Rob Portman and read a proclamation from Senator Sherrod Brown.



Latvian Garden representative and Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation board member Anda Cook spoke next.



Anda Cook

Anda Cook

Anda Cook

Next, Estonian Garden representative and Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation board member Erika Puussaar spoke. As a former refugee and immigrant, she spoke of the great respect she has for the national anthem and how others should respect it as well - and never take a knee.



Erika Puussaar

Erika Puussaar

Erika Puussaar

Next, Algis Gudenas, president of the Cleveland Lithuanian Community, spoke at the 80th anniversary celebration of the Lithuanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland.



Algis Gudenas

Algis Gudenas

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Rimas Aukstuolis, Pietra Fund board president of the Cleveland Lithuanian Community, spoke next.



Rimas Aukstuolis

Rimas Aukstuolis

Lithuanian Garden crowd

Algis Ruksenas, Author and Historian, was the featured speaker and gave a detailed history of the creation of the Lithuanian Garden and the many busts and monuments within.



Algis Ruksenas

Algis Ruksenas

Algis Ruksenas

After the event, Senator Rob Portman was asked about his expertise with the Baltic States, Ukraine and Eastern Europe and his strong relationships with the ethnic groups that follow in the footsteps of the late Senator George Voinovich.



See more tributes to Senator George Voinovich

The entertainment part of the anniversary celebration came courtesy of Exultate Choir directed by Rita Kliorys with William Shaffer on keyboard.

William Shaffer and Rita Kliorys

William Shaffer and Rita Kliorys


This first song is El Jovar, Jovar!



Exultate Lithuanian Choir

This is another Lithuanian song sung by the choir.



Exultate Lithuanian Choir

The third song was Zemej Lietuvos.



Exultate Lithuanian Choir

The fourth song was Pamario Dainos.



Exultate Lithuanian Choir

Next was Viena Seima- Viena Tauta.



Exultate Lithuanian Choir

The crowd rose for the final song, the Lithuanian National Anthem.

Singing the Lithuanian National Anthem

Singing the Lithuanian National Anthem

This was followed by a few closing remarks and posing for photos.



Group photo

Mike Polensek and Ingrida Bublys

Mike Polensek and Ingrida Bublys

Girls with flowers in Lithuanian dress

Girls with flowers in Lithuanian dress



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