Downtown fest offers food, music, customs of Slavic homes


Did you find yourself trading in the hamburgers and hot dogs for haluski, or the sloppy joes for cevapcici?

If so, you likely were in the middle of a colorful, family-friendly and growing city festival.

Cevapcici (a dish of grilled meat common in countries such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic) and haluski (baked noodles and cabbage) were two of many ethnic foods offered during Saturday’s fourth annual Simply Slavic festival on East Federal Street, downtown.

“This is a real Slavic tradition,” said Ken Shirilla, festival chairman. “Heritage is what we’re about.”

The 12-hour event was to allow people to more fully appreciate and absorb Slavic customs and traditions while educating them about those cultures, Shirilla noted.

Thirteen food and eight marketplace vendors also were in the mix, said Dave Slanina, an event co-founder.

The festival kicked off at noon and it wasn’t long before attendees lined up to partake of several traditional foods such as cheese pirogi, kielbasa, Balkan beef and pork on bread and numerous types of baked goods. Others were drawn to a variety of brightly colored jewelry and necklaces, courtesy of Alison Brougher.

Read more about the event in Sunday's Vindicator or on

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