University of Pittsburgh
November 1, 2016

Pitt to Host 26th Annual Slovak Heritage Festival Nov. 6


Katie Fike


PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Slovak Studies Program and Pitt Student Slovak Club will present the 26th Annual Slovak Heritage Festival from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, in the Commons Room of the Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The festival will feature song and dance performances by local performing groups and professional artists from Slovakia, ethnic foods and pastries, and many vendors with merchandise from Slovakia.

Attendees will be able to explore Slovak heritage at several lectures, including:

“Virtual Slovakia: How to Visit Your Ancestral Village without Leaving Home,” Lisa Alzo, 1:10 p.m., 252 Cathedral of Learning

“The Slovak and Slovak American, Family,” Susan Kalcik, 2 p.m., 253 Cathedral of Learning

“An American Angle: Three Slovakias 1970 to 2015,” Ron Matviyak, 3 p.m., 252 Cathedral of Learning

“The Slovak Spirit Lives On,” Dennis Ragan, 4 p.m., 253 Cathedral of Learning

Local performers include the Pittsburgh Slovakians, Jerry Jumba, the Slavjane Folk Ensemble, and the Pittsburgh Area Slovaks. The Slovak Heritage Festival will also feature Jozef Ivaška, a well-known musical star in Slovakia.

Jozef Ivaška, known in Slovakia as “the Man of a Thousand Songs,” is making his 10th concert tour of the United States. He now lives in Baden, Austria, where he sings with the Metropolitan Operetta Theatre, but is frequently called on to sing for important functions throughout Slovakia. Ivaška graduated from the Bratislava Conservatory of Music, where he studied opera. He was active in the rock and pop music scene in Ružomberok and Žilina and founded the rock group Sirius in the early 1980s. Ivaška’s CDs will be available for purchase at the festival.

The Slovak Heritage Festival is free and open to the public. Donations of baked goods are requested to defray costs. For more information, call Christine Metil, festival director, at 412-624-5906 or e-mail