Slideshow: Rain Can't Dampen the Spirit of Boise's Russian Food Festival 

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Lex Nelson

It's impossible to emerge from the lunch line at Boise's Russian Food Festival with a half-filled tray. That's because the men, women and children staffing the line to hand out cabbage- and meat-stuffed piroshkies, pillowy potato chebureki pockets and ladlefuls of beef stroganoff and borscht will inevitably cajole you into adding dish after dish to your plate. They'll argue that you just can't miss the stuffed peppers or medovik (honey cake)—and they are absolutely, positively right.

On the first afternoon of the two-day Russian Food Festival (which runs until 9 p.m. on Friday, May 17, and from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.  on Saturday, May 18, in the side yard of the St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church) Boise's dismal weather failed to dampen spirits or quell the line. Russian music played as a pleasant background to happy chatter, and inside the church local iconographer Matthew Garrett quietly painted away, to the delight of those taking self-guided tours.

If you haven't yet visited the can't-miss festival, here's a taste:
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