Byzantine Catholics a presence at annual Ohio festival

‘Simply Slavic’ in 6th year of celebrating shared and unique traditions.

The 6th Annual “Simply Slavic” Ethnic Heritage Festival will be held Saturday June 18. This regional event held in downtown Youngstown, Ohio promotes the diverse Slavic populations of Mahoning Valley, Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania by celebrating the heritage and rich traditions of all Slavic nations and ethnicities. In addition to terrific homemade foods, live folk music and dancing, highlights include an ecumenical blessing, Parade of National Flags, Slavic kitchen, Slavic marketplace and heritage tents, and a baking contest.

The festival winds down with spirited late-night singing and dancing around the Vatra (bonfire). Rain or shine, everything is under large tents and protected. Parishioners from the local Byzantine Catholic Churches Infant Jesus of Prague, St. Nicholas, St. Michael and St. Mary participate in this event and also were part of its founding. At the ethnic heritage tent this local Byzantine Catholics will explain and promote the spiritual and cultural aspects of their heritage and are living examples of how Ruthenian culture was shaped by their deeply rooted Greek Catholic faith and unwavering church attendance.

Performing the music, songs and dances of the Carpatho-Rusyns and under the sponsorship of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society and local Byzantine Catholic Churches will be the Slavjane Folk Ensemble of McKees Rocks, Pa. This talented and youthful group is recognized by the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh as the official representative of Ruthenian folk culture in the U.S. For more information, call 330-333-1441; email info@ or visit online at