The Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREES) at the University of Kansas is thrilled to hold its annual Spring Festival on March 3rd. The Festival celebrates the coming of spring and brings Eastern European and Eurasian culture to Lawrence by providing music, dance, food, and crafts from the region. The event shares the beauty of Eastern and Eurasian cultures with the community with the added hope of inspiring more people to learn about this often misunderstood region.

CREES Spring Festival

The festival will have free food from the REE region, live performances, a photobooth, door prizes, a craft area, and more. Performances will include live music by Hrvatski Običaj, a 15-20 piece Croatian band featuring traditional stringed instruments. The group is dedicated to preserving Croatian national music. Hrvatski Običaj performed at the 2023 CREES Spring Festival and CREES is excited to welcome them back in 2024. There will also be a performance by Mavka, who will perform both Ukrainian folkdance and character dance. Mavka is a Ukrainian dance company united in love for Ukraine, dance, and performing. They perform at festivals, fundraisers, schools, retirement homes, and other events year-round.

CREES Spring Festival

Last year, the Spring Festival had so many attendees that it became clear the event had outgrown its usual venue. Thanks to sponsorship from local businesses, CREES is able to hold the Spring Festival at Liberty Hall, one of Lawrence’s iconic venues, which makes the event easily accessible to many more people. CREES is grateful to the following local sponsors: KU DEIB, Central Bank, Summit’s Steps Minerals, Kizer Cummings Jewelers, and Pane e Vino Wine Bar & Academy.

The Spring Festival is a free and family-friendly event open to everyone. Local support and interest in events like the CREES Spring Festival speaks to the Lawrence community’s interest in and support of other cultures, its curiosity, fun-loving spirit, and celebration of diversity.

CREES Spring Festival Poster

Based at the University of Kansas, the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES) has been a national leader for the study of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe since 1959. The center is an interdisciplinary hub that oversees undergraduate and graduate degree programs, helps train K-12 teachers and post-secondary educators, and shares its expertise with partners in business, media, the military, government, and the community.

For more information about CREES or the Spring Festival please visit or

Contact the CREES Outreach Coordinator, Dr. Megan Luttrell, at with any questions.