Festival celebrates Slavic culture

Simply Slavic, the downtown Youngstown festival created specifically to celebrate the Mahoning Valley’s colorful Slavic community, returns Saturday to Federal Plaza East.

The event began in 2011 to educate both the region’s large number of Slavic descendants and the community-at-large about Slavic heritage. Keeping with its mission, the event will showcase the rich traditions of the Mahoning Valley’s Slavic culture by celebrating the food, music, dance and customs of the various Slavic ethnicities represented here.

Attractions include:

An ecumenical blessing and Parade of Flags with representatives from a variety of faiths and parishes featuring one of the region’s ethnic choirs.

A Slavic kitchen featuring booths of homemade foods from more than a half dozen area churches, businesses and ethnic groups.

An ethnic heritage tent where each of the Slavic groups from around the region will create exhibits to educate visitors on the culture of their region through items like maps, flags, pictures, language lessons and information on famous immigrants from that country.

A marketplace of vendors selling imported dolls, eggs, linens and apparel reflecting the varied nations of the festival.

A baking contest where amateurs can submit their favorite traditional items to be judged by area Slavic celebrities

Live entertainment including four folk dance troupes, the Del Sinchak polka band and the renowned Harmonia folk band showcasing the concert and dance music of Eastern Europe.

The festival grounds have expanded to two city blocks to create more of a street fair layout.

Simply Slavic runs from noon to midnight Saturday. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children ages 12 and younger.

For additional information, call 330-503-9874 or go to www.simplyslavic.org.