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Simply Slavic Heritage Festival to serve up virtual celebration

To complement the virtual festival, local food and beverage vendors will provide Slavic dishes for pickup.
Simply Slavic 05222020
Ukrainian dancers are among the folk dance groups from around the region that traditionally join in the celebration during the Simply Slavic Heritage Festival. (Contributed photo)

YOUNGSTOWN — The 10th annual Simply Slavic Heritage Festival will get a virtual twist this year and will allow the community to celebrate from the comfort of their own homes.

Rodina, the bride-inspired Simply Slavic mascot who has welcomed visitors to the festival the past few years, will host the June 20 event. The celebration, which usually takes place in downtown Youngstown, will begin at 6 p.m. on Facebook and YouTube and will feature performances by past music and dance favorites such as Harmonia and Chardon Polka Band.

The Global Toast will take place at 7 p.m. Friends of Simply Slavic from countries around the world will send their good wishes and their version of “cheers” to life and health in their own languages. Viewers will be able to offer words of encouragement from their computers or mobile devices.

To complement the virtual festival, local food and beverage vendors will provide Slavic dishes for pickup. Check Simply Slavic’s Facebook page for updates on the complete list of participants.

“We wanted to explore a solution in 2020 where the community can safely stay physically distant but collectively come together to celebrate our shared heritage,” John Slanina, Simply Slavic board president, said in a news release. “Continuing our yearly scholarship program, helping out our local food and beverage entrepreneurs and supporting local artists was especially important to the organizing committee.”

Modern Methods Brewing Co. of Warren has begun brewing its Rodina Czech Amber Lager, made exclusively for Simply Slavic during the festival. A portion of Rodina sales will go toward the Simply Slavic Scholarship Program for students at Youngstown State University. 

“Rodina has become such a favorite of beer enthusiasts that we are more than doubling its volume of production in 2020,” Adam Keck, Modern Methods president, said. 

Youngstown’s Penguin City Brewing Co, which partnered with the festival for the first time last year, will be offering its flagship ale for delivery.

To offset the costs of the event production, Simply Slavic welcomes tax-deductible donations. For donation information, click here.