Boiled cabbage, pastry, polka highlight first Slavic fest downtown


The smell of boiled cabbage and the sound of bellowing accordions converged in the air to make up the first annual Simply Slavic Festival along Federal Street downtown Saturday.

Hundreds turned out to dance, buy Slavic clothing and toys and bid at the baked goods auction.

“The whole idea is not only to promote the downtown, promote the Slavic heritage,” said David Slanina, one of the festival’s organizers. “That whole generation of people that still speak the language and carry on the tradition, they’re all passing away. If we don’t get the young people interested, we’re going to lose a big part of the greatness of Youngstown.”

And the young people were there and dressed for the occasion.

D’Ella Heschmeyer, 11, and Allina Rivera, 12, were two of several children wearing the red-and black-beaded vests and long, dark-colored skirts with flowers in their hair that make up the Krakowian folk costume. And they were knowledgeable on the culture.

“In the olden days, the girls made their dress to show what good wives they would be,” Heschmeyer said.

Slavic baked goods, beers and groceries from several local organizations and food establishments lined a section of the festival.

For more on the event, read Sunday's Vindicator or

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