Slovak dancers perform during a previous Slovak Festival at Saints Cyril and Methodius Parish in Sterling Heights.

Slovak dancers perform during a previous Slovak Festival at Saints Cyril and Methodius Parish in Sterling Heights.

File photo by Sarah Purlee

Slovak festival to celebrate culture, community

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 5, 2022


STERLING HEIGHTS — Prepare your appetite for goulash, palacinky crepes and more — Saints Cyril and Methodius Parish in Sterling Heights is preparing its annual summer Slovak Festival Aug. 26-28.

Kathy Holka, who sits on the festival’s planning committee, said the annual festival is a celebration of Slovak heritage. She said it recognizes the immigrants who moved from Europe and founded the church in Detroit over 100 years ago, as well as the church’s move to its current Sterling Heights location in the 1980s.

“I think people of Slovak heritage or descent make it a point to come,” she said. “Others who come in the community come to experience the ethnic foods and get out and enjoy the weather, enjoy a weekend festival. It appeals to everyone, not just Slovaks.”

Although the Slovak Festival was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, Holka said the event returned in 2021 with a more limited menu “because we didn’t know what the crowds would be like.” Looking back, she said the event was “better than expected.”

This year, the event is planning a more normal rollout, including its offerings of Slovak and American cuisine. Grilled meals will be prepared in an outside tent, and inside, the church a “Slovak kitchen” will cook up a few more menu items, Holka said.

The event also promises live music, dancing and entertainment. Although Holka said she didn’t have a completed schedule yet, she said the Sarisan Slovak Folk Ensemble will return and bring one or two other dance groups with them. Organizers are also working on staging a talent show, and there will be a special play area to entertain the kids, she added.

Holka said attendees may also enter raffles, and a grand prize of $5,000 will be awarded. Lastly, an 11:30 a.m. Sunday Mass will be observed in Slovak, she said.

Fr. Libor Marek, the parish’s pastor, said he hopes the event will continue to bring the community together now that many of the pandemic restrictions have lapsed. He said he looks forward to seeing old friends.

“People are finding their way back, and they are restoring their social lives,” he said. “This is a good way for people from the past, as well as more recent people to come together and regain the ties of community.”

Saints Cyril and Methodius Parish, 41233 Ryan Road in Sterling Heights, plans to have its annual Slovak Festival Aug. 26-28. Festival hours are 6-11 p.m. Friday, 3-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are free. Learn more by visiting or by calling (586) 726-6911.