The San Francisco Lithuanian/American Community Chapter was officially established, and recognized as part of the National organization, in 1952. Our small, but active chapter boasts members from all over the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Concord, San Mateo and as far south as San Jose. Recently, an influx of newly arrived Lithuanians – both single and with families – have joined bringing new energy to our community.
We donâ€™t have a formal gathering place, such as a church; however, we maintain a Board which organizes various events throughout the year. The four major annual events are the Baltic Picnic, Fall Ball, Kucios (Christmas dinner), and Lithuanian Independence Day celebration. We also support a number of smaller events run by subgroups with interests in education, theater, sports, etc.
In 2006, we established “Genys”, a Lithuanian Saturday school for children. Our students range in age from 9 to 15 and attend classes at facilities donated for use by two of our Chapter members. At Saturday school, the children learn to read and write Lithuanian. They also perform plays at Kucios and perform at the Lithuanian Independence Day event. We’ve recently added a folk dance class at the end of the lessons.
The 13th Lithuanian Folk Dance festival took place in Los Angeles this year. Over 1,200 dancers participated, 19 of which hailed from San Francisco. We resurrected our original dance group â€œVakaru Vaikaiâ€, and renamed it â€œTiltasâ€. Our dancers were very excited and pleased to be able to represent our community at the Festival.