On March 3rd, the Bulgarian community in Chicago gathered together at The Field Museum to celebrate Bulgaria’s national holiday, the day on which in 1878, in accordance with the Treaty of San Stefano, Bulgaria regained its independence from the Ottoman Empire. The magnificent Founder’s room opened its doors to welcome Bulgarian diplomats, distinguished members of the Bulgarian community in Chicago, representatives of the local municipal, state and federal administrations and other friends of Bulgaria.
The Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Chicago, the main organizer of the event, did not choose The Field Museum for this important celebration by chance. Since it became home of the ABF-ARCS program in 2009, The Field Museum has been gradually developing a stronger relationship with the Bulgarian community in Chicago. It has reaffirmed its position not only as one of the most important cultural institutions in the city, but also as a place where Bulgarian historical and cultural heritage and traditions are celebrated in a unique and memorable way.
The reception was organized in collaboration with the America for Bulgaria Foundation Archaeological Program at The Field Museum and the US Office of the American Research Center in Sofia. Dr. William Parkinson, director of the ABF Archaeological Program at The Field Museum and Prof. Shari Stocker, Chair of the Board of Trustees of ARCS greeted their guests. Official addresses were delivered on behalf of Mr. Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois and the Mayor of the City of Chicago, Mr. Rahm Emanuel. The Consul General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Chicago, Mr. Simeon Stoilov, talked about the historical context of March 3rd and the importance of Bulgarian-American relationships.
Bulgarian culture played a big part in the celebrations. Ttstanding Bulgarian piano player Ani Gogova. Delicious food prepared in the Bulgarian culinary tradition was served. More than 200 guests came to this memorable and successful event, which once again highlighted The Field Museum as a place where Bulgarian community in Chicago is welcomed and honored.