University of Pittsburgh
October 29, 2013

Pitt to Host 23rd Annual Slovak Heritage Festival Nov. 3

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Slovak Studies Program and the Pitt Student Slovak Club will present the 23rd Annual Slovak Heritage Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 3 in the Commons Room of the Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The free public event will feature Slovakian cultural displays, traditional foods, musical performances, and vendors offering merchandise from Slovakia. The festival seeks to provide a unique opportunity for Slovak-Americans to reconnect with their history and culture. 

Christine Metil, administrator of Pitt’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the director of the Slovak Heritage Festival, said, “The University of Pittsburgh has the only Slovak Studies Program in the United States, which was founded due to the generosity of Slovak Fraternal organizations. Pittsburgh has the highest concentration of Slovak-Americans in the United States. The event draws many visitors from the tri-state area, as well as visitors from all over the United States who wish to stay in touch with their Slovak ethnic heritage.”

This year, a display depicting the pictorial history of Saints Cyril and Methodius, noted for bringing Christianity to Slavic nations, will be featured. The display, containing 11 posters, will be provided by the Western Pennsylvania Slovak Cultural Association.

Music groups performing at the festival will include the local Pittsburgh Slovakians, the Slavjane Folk Ensemble, and the Pittsburgh Area Slovaks. In addition, two music acts well known in Slovakia will perform. 

The Singing Revilak Family, originally from the Slovak Republic, has performed a lively and varied folk song repertoire on European, Canadian, and American stages for 20 years, receiving numerous awards in competitions throughout Slovakia. The Singing Revilak Family will perform at 2:30 p.m. 

Jozef Ivaska, known in Slovakia as “the Man of a Thousand Songs,” studied opera at the Bratislava Conservatory of Music and was active in Slovakia’s rock and pop music scene, founding the rock group Sirius in the early 1980s. Ivaska will perform at 3:20 p.m. 

Food offerings will include haluski (pan-fried noodles and cabbage), holupki (stuffed cabbage), klobasa (sausage), and pirohi (a variant of pierogi dumplings), among other authentic Slovakian dishes and pastries.

The Slovak Heritage Festival is free and open to the public.  For more information, call Christine Metil, festival director, at 412-624-5906 or email slavic@pitt.edu.

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10/29/13/klf/cjhm