Slovak dancers perform during a previous Ss. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Parish Slovak Festival.

Slovak dancers perform during a previous Ss. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Parish Slovak Festival.

File photo by Sarah Purlee


Slovak church festival to celebrate culture, city presence

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 7, 2019

 Gabriela Liptakova, of Sterling Heights, serves up crepes at a previous festival.

Gabriela Liptakova, of Sterling Heights, serves up crepes at a previous festival.

File photo by Sarah Purlee

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Around this time every year, Kathy Holka said the Ss. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Parish gets calls about its annual Slovak Festival. One of the most common questions is what time the folk performers will be onstage.

“It’s just very lively dances and colorful costumes,” she said.

Holka sits on the committee for the Slovak Festival, which is celebrating its 29th year Aug. 23-25 in Sterling Heights.

According to organizers, Friday will specifically be a family night complete with a talent show, and the rest of the festival will include music and Slovak folk dancers. In addition, a Slovak Mass will take place at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile, children may play in a game tent, bounce on inflatable structures or climb a rock wall. Raffles will occur throughout the weekend for adults, and the top prize will be $5,000. According to Holka, the event’s cooks will prepare national dishes like halusky potato dumplings, pierogi known as pirohy, fasirka meatloaf, holubky stuffed cabbage and klobasa sausage. Some American foods will also be served.

While Holka said this is the festival’s 29th year, the festival committee is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the church’s dedication in Sterling Heights. 

She said the church is actually 101 years old, founded by Slovak immigrants in Detroit in 1918. But as people increasingly moved to the suburbs, so did the church. It started the relocation process in 1982, had its first Mass at the new place on Christmas Eve in 1988, and then had its church dedication in June 1989, she said.

Festival chairman John Fournier said the festival also benefits the church financially. 

“Speaking as the chairman of the festival, it is a great celebration of our Slovak heritage, and it’s a great fundraiser for the parish,” he said.

Ss. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Parish, 41233 Ryan Road in Sterling Heights, will hold its 29th annual Slovak Festival Aug. 23-25. Friday hours are 6-11 p.m., Saturday hours are 1-11 p.m. and Sunday hours are noon-9 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

Find out more about the church by visiting saintcyrils.church or by calling (586) 726-6911.

Call Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at (586) 498-1058.

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