Simply Slavic, the festival created specifically to celebrate Youngstown’s Slavic community, will take place on Friday, June 16, 2023 from 5pm to 11pm and Saturday, June 17, 2023 from 12pm to Midnight in Downtown Youngstown. The event will include live music, folk dance performances, homemade food, children’s learning areas, educational exhibits, and ethnic vendors. A full weekend of entertainment and education is planned.
The festival has added food vendors from Pittsburgh and Cleveland. In addition to the Slavic staples of pierogi, halušky, stuffed cabbage, and kolache; guests will also find a wide variety of new or returning items from festival years’ past, such as potato pancakes, ćevapi (Balkan sausages), smažený sýr (Czech fried cheese), trdelník (Slovak chimney cakes), and burek (a savory Bosnian pastry).
New this year is the Ecumenical Blessing of the Festival Food, and a Tribute to Honorary Grand Marshall Rev Joseph Rudjak.
Highlights of the festival include:
- A Slavic Kitchen featuring booths of foods from area churches, local businesses, and ethnic clubs
- A Marketplace of vendors selling imported dolls, eggs, linens, and apparel reflecting the varied nations of the festival
- An Ethnic Heritage Tent where Slavic groups from around the region exhibit materials to educate visitors about their culture through maps, folk art, language lessons, and a display of famous immigrants.
- The National Flags of the 13 countries and one region will open the event each day and then create a colorful and educational display throughout the whole event
- The Entertainment Stage features the region’s most colorful folk dance troupes and a variety of live bands, including the popular Del Sinchak Orchestra, Chardon Polka Band, and the renowned Harmonia Folk Band showcasing the concert and dance music of Eastern Europe.
- The Vatra, a traditional Slavic bonfire, will be ceremonially lit after dark with live music playing fireside for the singing and dancing pleasure of the young and the “young-at-heart” until midnight.
A complete schedule of events for the festival can be found at https://www.simplyslavic.org/festival/page/festival-schedule.
Admission is $5.00. Children 12 years old and younger will be admitted free of charge both days. For the latest festival information, visit their website.