Lots of Lithuanian Folk Dancers are Coming to Baltimore Next Month

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Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 5.16.24 PMcatch of the day fish (2)Baltimore’s tourism-friendly downtown attracts many gatherings of like-minded folks, whether it’s conventions or festivals. We’re always happy when some dancing is involved.

On July 3, the North American Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival arrives in town. Organizers are expecting 1,800 dancers to descend on Royal Farms Arena, with some making the trip from Eastern Europe.

The celebration, which is held every four years, has a rich history in the U.S. The first edition was organized by immigrants in Chicago while Lithuania was still occupied by the Soviet Union. Here in Baltimore, Lithuanians trace their roots to the Lithuanian Hall (before it was host to John Waters’ favorite soul dance night), and the heritage of Baltimore Colts legend Johnny Unitas. This year’s celebration goes back a little further, aiming to trace the journey of Lithuanian ancestors.

If you’re wondering whether there will be lots of people dancing at one time, the answer is yes. Dancers of all ages will take part in a big, choreographed production. Organizers compared it to the pageantry of an opening ceremony at the Olympics, which happens to be just a month after the festival.


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  1. My Dad, an Onaitis, thought Johnny Unitas’ family name was something like “Jonaitis” in Lithuania. But … probably changed on arrival in the USA. He grew up in Pittsburgh PA.

  2. All my grown childred and their spouses as well as all five grandkids from California will be there dancing away.

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