With a Slavic baking contest, festival will flaunt good taste


Entries are being accepted until June 14 for the first Slavic baking competition, which is being sponsored by Nemenz IGA.

The contest will be part of Simply Slavic, the first downtown festival to celebrate the Youngstown area’s Slavic community.

The festival will take place from noon to 11 p.m. June 18 on Federal Plaza East.

The purpose of the event is to educate the region’s large number of Slavic descendants and the community at-large about Slavic heritage.

Contest participants, who are to be age 18 or older, are asked to complete a registration form, which can be obtained at Youngstown City Hall or downloaded from www.simplyslavic.org.

A $10 fee and the recipe description of 100 words or less should be submitted with the form. Remember to include the recipe’s ties to its Slavic roots and include details such as which holiday it was associated with and when you first ate it.

European nations representing the origins of Slavic ancestry are Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

Among the many items expected in the competition are Slovak kolachi, Polish paczki and kruschiki, Serbian baklava, Ukrainian fruit platsok and Slovenian povitica.At the festival, contestants will take their entries to the baking contest table no later than 3 p.m.

They are asked to take two of the baked items (or two dozen, if cookies) packaged separately. One will be for judging and serving at the competition, and the other will be auctioned off to raise scholarship funds.

Five businesses and area Slavs will judge the contest. Commercial baking judges are Nemenz IGA and Classic Bakery Inc. Celebrity judges include Libby Fill, Croatian Tamburitza musician; Casey Malone, Polish broadcast personality; and Rich Morgan, WKBN-TV’s Slovak weatherman.

Each judge will review all entries and select a winner based on three criteria: taste (50 percent), authenticity (25 percent) and presentation (25 percent). The public can watch the judging on-site at 4 p.m.

Local parishes and organizations that have signed up to support and participate include the City of Youngstown, Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, Polish Youngstown, the American Slovak Cultural Association of Mahoning Valley, and the Carpatho-Rusyn Heritage Society.

More information and complete contest rules can be found on the event’s website (previously mentioned) or by calling 330-646-4082.


Festival schedule

Noon: Opening ceremonies, Ecumenical prayer service, Parade of Flags.

12:30 p.m.: Food tents open, Kolo dance/lessons, Mikey Dee Orchestra.

1:30 p.m.: Tamburitzans.

1:45 p.m.: Mikey Dee Orchestra.

2:45 p.m.: Ukrainian Folk Ensemble.

3 p.m.: Mikey Dee Orchestra.

4 p.m.: Polka demo/lessons.

4:15 p.m.: Slavic baking contest.

4:30 p.m.: Slavic baking auction.

4:45 p.m.: Krakowiaki Polish Folk Circle.

5 p.m.: Del Sinchak Band.

6 p.m.: Living Traditions Folk Ensemble.

6:45 p.m.: Del Sinchak Band.

7:45 p.m.: Basket auction winners announced, 50-50 drawing.

8 p.m.: Del Sinchak Band.

8:45 p.m.: Slavic Disco begins.

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