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Eggs Rolls and Egg Creams Festival Celebrates Best of Chinese and Jewish Culture

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

LOWER EAST SIDE — Talk about the best of both worlds.

Jewish and Chinese traditions will meet this Sunday for the annual Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival, an event paying tribute to the evolving cultural legacy of the Lower East Side.

Hosted by the Museum at Eldridge Street, the now decade-old festival features everything from mah-jongg games and klezmer performances to calligraphy and traditional knot-tying.

The festival, which drew 8,000 people last year, was initially conceived to respond to the increasing Chinese population in the historically Jewish neighborhood, said Hanna Griff-Sleven, director of cultural programs for the Museum at Eldridge Street.

"We pride ourselves in not only exploring Jewish culture, but we work with a lot of immigrant groups past and present," she explained. "The surprising thing is how not surprising it is when you see them side by side."

Similarities between both cultures will be in display at the event, including a Jewish scribal artist working alongside a Chinese calligraphist, klezmer bands belting out tunes in between Chinese opera performances and — of course — egg rolls washed down with egg creams.

"It is gimmicky," Griff-Sleven said of the inspiration for the event's name. "But there's so much more here."

The festival takes place on Sun., June 12, from noon to 4 p.m., at 12 Eldridge St., between Division and Canal streets.