Simply Slavic Fest Moving to The Amp This Year

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – With a block of Champion Street closed because of the May 28 explosion at the Realty Tower, the Simply Slavic Festival is moving to the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre.

The event will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 14, and from noon to midnight Saturday, June 15.

The location change was initiated by JAC Management, which operates the amphitheater.

“JAC Management Group kindly reached out to Simply Slavic this week, as we both share a goal of promoting downtown Youngstown,” said John Slanina, president of the Simply Slavic board of directors. “We feel the community will be amazed at what our two professional teams have put together with the support of the city’s leadership.”

Simply Slavic attracted more than 7,000 guests last year.

Jared Laczko, marketing manager for JAC, said the festival’s importance to the region prompted his company to take action.

“We felt it was important to reach out to the event organizers and city administrators to offer any support to ensure it takes place,” Laczko said.

Even though the location has changed, the festival will continue to offer everything that has made it popular. It will feature homemade Slavic food and beverages and vendors. Admission is $5 (free for children age 12 and under).

Slavic music and dance artists will perform on the main stage of The Amp.

Visitors will enter through the main gate of the facility, at the southern terminus of Phelps Street. They will go through a security checkpoint before entering, but standard-size purses are welcome after inspection, according to a press release from the festival.

Pets are not permitted, except for service animals.

Tables and chairs will be set up for dining, and guests may bring their own chair or blanket to set up on the lawn.

Simply Slavic was launched in 2011 and has become one of the area’s most popular events.

“So many in the region support Simply Slavic and our drive to preserve our heritage,” said Slanina. “But it goes beyond the Mahoning Valley. We have visitors from Chicago and New York and even a European delegation from one of our sister cities, Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia.”

The event has raised thousands of dollars over the years for scholarships to Youngstown State University.

It also features its own beer. Modern Methods Brewing of Warren brews its Rodina beer every year especially for the festival. The word means “family” in many Slavic languages. The ceremonial tapping of the first keg will take place Friday evening.

Longtime Valley polka musician Del Sinchak will be the honorary grand marshal of the festival this year.

Here is the entertainment schedule:


  • 5 p.m.: Od Srca Tamburitzans.
  • 6 p.m.: Opening ceremony and parade of nations.
  • 7 p.m.: Mikey Dee Tamburica Stars.
  • 8 p.m.: Chardon Polka Band.
  • 9 p.m.: Mikey Dee Tamburica Stars.
  • 10 p.m.: Chardon Polka Band.


  • Noon: Opening ceremony, parade and food blessing, and tribute to Del Sinchak.
  • 1 p.m.: The Zaps.
  • 1:50 p.m.: The Zolas.
  • 2:55 p.m.: Rex Taneri Orchestra.
  • 3:55 p.m.: Living Traditions folk ensemble
  • 4:45 p.m.: St. Nicholas Russian dancers.
  • 6:15 p.m.: Harmonia.
  • 7:15 p.m.: Jody Maddie’s UpTown Sound.
  • 8:15 p.m.: Harmonia.
  • 9:15 p.m.: Jody Maddie’s UpTown Sound.
  • 10 p.m.: Lighting of the Vatra (bonfire).

Pictured at top: A Slavic dance troupe performs at last year’s Simply Slavic Festival.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.