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News and Upcoming Events for Slovenians in Cleveland


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Out & About - Photos and Event Recaps

2021

Polka Star of Tomorrow

Accordionist Garrett Tatano of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was voted Polka Star of Tomorrow at a musical competition hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 18, 2021. Three hundred polka music fans cast ballots for four entertainers at SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio, near Cleveland.

Garrett Tatano - Polka Star of Tomorrow

Garrett Tatano - Polka Star of Tomorrow


More of the Polka Stars of Tomorrow


2020

Slovenian Holiday Traditions - St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and Dedek Mraz

The Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia in the United States Alenka Jerak says that "December is the month of anticipation. Expectations of holidays, New Year and gifts. And Slovenia is among the rare countries in the world, where gifts are carried by three good December men: St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and Dedek Mraz."

St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and Dedek Mraz - Slovenian Christmas

St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and Dedek Mraz


See more Slovenian Christmas


Dick Russ family Slovenian Holiday Traditions and Message

Cleveland International Hall of Fame inductee Dick Russ is part Ukrainian and part Slovenian. Dick says, "As for the Slovenian traditions passed down in my family through the generations - the one which first comes to mind is putting out shoes on the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas (6 December). The venerable saint (Sveti Miklavž ) would then leave small gifts reflecting how good or "bad" you were in the year. If you received an orange, a couple pieces of candy, and maybe a few assorted nuts, that was a big deal.

My grandsons were thrilled to receive exactly those gifts this year. It was nice to see them keep the tradition, through their father (my middle son), and his wife. It really reminded me of how my brother, sister, and I reacted when we found treats, and not a lump of coal (we had a coal furnace then!) in our shoes when we were kids. In addition, no Slovenian Christmas is complete without reverently attending Holy Mass, and at some point enjoying as much potica as possible.

Dick add, ""My wife's mother (Baba) has lived with us for more than 3 years, and thanks be to God her health is pretty much OK, and she is still very sharp. She spent several years in a Nazi forced labor camp like many of the "Ukes" here in Cleveland did - and has been giving us many details of her life under Stalin and then Hitler, and then the DP camps, and finally to the U.S. (where she was first sent to Mississippi to pick cotton on a plantation!)

The Slovenians as you know lived in those camps as well, and tragically so many were murdered by the Communists even after the war. Mass graves such as Kocevski Rog were revealed in the early 90's and I reported on many of these things back then when I was on TV. I did a fairly long piece with the only known 3 survivors of a slaughter that saw more than 10,000 Slovenians killed and dumped in a pit.

Sorry to bring a downer toward the end of the note - but the point is that the resiliency of the people like the Ukrainians and Slovenians is testament first to their Christian faith, which carried them through, along with the strength of their family life and their love of liberty. (God, family, homeland). Those are the characteristics which now allow us, who were born in the U.S., to carry on their traditions, and celebrate great feasts like Christmas, together with our families."

Back to Ethnic Holiday Traditions


Slovenian traditional honey breakfast

Slovenia holds each year, every third Friday in November, a traditional Slovenian honey breakfast. On this day, all children in Slovenian kindergartens, primary, middle and high schools get a free breakfast, consisting of apple, honey, milk, butter and bread, all from local producers or farms. The main goal of this project is to educate the general public, especially children and youth, about the importance of a morning meal/breakfast, healthy eating and the benefits of local or home-grown food, the importance of agriculture, beekeeping and bees on food production and the environment, as well as proper waste and package management.

This year's 10th anniversary of the project (November 20) was also celebrated in Cleveland, for the second time. Last year, the Consul General Mrs. Alenka Jerak successfully introduced first "honey breakfast" to the students of the Slovene language school at St. Vitus Parish. This year, due to the current circumstances, she decided to spread the idea of a healthy breakfast, importance of local, home-grown food, agriculture and the role of bees in the food chain among the American students and local community in Collinwood, once a "Slovenian" quarter of Cleveland.

Mrs Jerak, in cooperation with Councilman from Ward 8 Mr Mike Polensek and Lectorer for Slovenian studies at CSU Dr. Luka Zibelnik delivered more than 80 free healthy breakfast packages to the students of St. Jerome School, as well as students at Five Pointe Community Centre in Collinwood. They got a bread, juice, apple, baby carrots, honey, jam and butter from local food producers, as well as short description of how children in Slovenia celebrate this day, what they eat and a brief indication of the importance of this project.


Slovenian immigrant Dr. Edward Gobetz honored by President of Slovenia

The Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia in the United States Alenka Jerak bestowed the Order of Merit upon Dr. Edward Gobetz, a Slovenian immigrant to the USA, at a ceremony on Slovenska Pristava in Harpersfield, Ohio.

Consul General Jerak and Dr. Edward Gobetz - photo by Phil  Hrvatin

Consul General Jerak and Dr. Edward Gobetz
photo by Phil Hrvatin


Consul General Jerak, acting on behalf of the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, presented the medal in recognition of Dr. Gobetz's life work, of his contribution to the recognizability of Slovenia, as well as for increasing the awareness of the achievements by Slovenians in the USA and the world.

More from the honor for Dr. Gobetz


Slovenian Cultural Garden Cleanup

Alenka Jerak, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia, led an effort to cleanup and beautify the Slovenian Cultural Garden on Saturday May 30, 2020. The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a collection of ethnic heritage gardens in Rockefeller Park in Cleveland Ohio. The Slovenian Cultural Garden was dedicated in 1932 and features busts of Bishop Baraga, Ivan Cankar and Ivan Zorman.

Consul General Alenka Jerak and others working in the Slovenian Cultural Garden

Consul General Alenka Jerak and others
working in the Slovenian Cultural Garden

See photos from the Slovenian Cultural Garden Cleanup


World Bee Day 2020

Slovenia has been at the forefront of protecting bees, which are essential to our food supply and health. Alenka Jerak, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia, led the celebration of World Bee Day (May 20) in order to point out the importance of the bees and other pollinators, beekeeping and their contribution to sustainable development, environment, healthy food, solving problems related to the global food supply as well as to eliminate hunger.

Slovenian Consul General Alenka Jerak, truly a Busy Bee

Slovenian Consul General Alenka Jerak, truly a Busy Bee


See photos from the Slovenian World Bee Day event


2020 Kurentovanje Parade in Cleveland

The 8th annual Cleveland version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - was a weeklong event featuring dinners, a dance party, fun run and more. But the highlight was the annual Kurentovanje parade followed by the festival celebration in the Slovenian National Home.

Slovenian costumes at Kurentovanje Parade


View videos and photos of the 2020 Kurentovanje parade in Cleveland


2020 Kurentovanje Festival in Cleveland

After the Kurentovanje Parade, the festivities continued inside the Slovenian National Home including music, dancing, food, drink and camaraderie.

Prince and Princess of Kurentovanje

Prince and Princess of Kurentovanje


More of the 2020 Kurentovanje Festival


Slovenian Consul General and Bee Products and Bee Keeping

The Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia exhibited products from Slovenia related to bees and honey. Alenka Jerak, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia, told about the importance of bees and the Slovenian products made from the bee's honey.

Alenka Jerak, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia

Alenka Jerak, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia, and assistant


See more of the Consul General and Bees


Slovenian artist Brni Lavrisha display at the Slovenian Museum and Archives

Brni Lavrisha will tell you that he is Slovenian on both sides so it is fitting that his work is being exhibited at the Slovenian Museum and Archives (SMA) in Cleveland Ohio.

Artist Brni Lavrisha

Artist Brni Lavrisha


The SMA "are the privileged inheritors of a legacy, not only of precious pieces of rich, ethnic, artistic and linguistic works, but also of a compelling story of migrating and thriving in America and in our City of Cleveland."

Brni does both sculptures and paintings using materials that he finds and repurposed from a nearby creek.

See more of Brni's art


2019

16th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival

As the t-shirt says "The party doesn't start until the sausage comes out!" And what a party it was.

The 16th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival had enough sausage and polka music to satisfy everyone. More than 1,300 hungry music-lovers enjoyed eight hours of polka music and savory sausages. The event was hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at the SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio. Fifty musicians and accordionists, including Canada's Polka King Walter Ostanek, volunteered their services at the fund-raiser for the Polka Hall of Fame.

 Bill Azman; Consul General of Slovenia Alenka Jerak; Marie Azman, Polka Hall of Fame President Joe Valencic; and Trustee Denny Bucar.

Bill Azman; Consul General of Slovenia Alenka Jerak; Marie Azman, Polka Hall of Fame President Joe Valencic; and Trustee Denny Bucar.


See more, including a short video, of the Slovenian Sausage Festival


Slovenian Cultural Garden at One World Day

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation hosted the 74th annual One World Day on August 25, 2019. Police estimates say that over 30,000 people visited the Gardens and attended One World Day. There was a lot of activity in the beautiful and historic Slovenian Cultural Garden.

Band in the Slovenian Garden on One World Day

Patty C and the Guys Band
in the Slovenian Garden on One World Day


Click the white arrow to enjoy a taste of the Slovenian music from Patty C and the Guys band on One World Day.



See more from the 2019 One World Day.

A highlight of One World Day is the Parade of Flags where people in costumes of their heritage carry the flags. This year was undoubtedly the largest and most colorful in memory.

Slovenian Garden in Parade of Flags

Slovenian Garden in Parade of Flags


Video and pictures from the Parade of Flags at 2019 One World Day


2019 Kurentovanje Parade in Cleveland

The 7th annual Cleveland version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - was a weeklong event featuring dinners, a dance party, bocce tournament and more. But the highlight was the annual Kurentovanje parade followed by the festival celebration in the Slovenian National Home.

Kurents in Kurentovanje Parade in Cleveland

Scaring away winter at the Cleveland Kurentovanje Parade


View videos and photos of the 2019 Kurentovanje parade in Cleveland


2019 Kurentovanje Festival in Cleveland

After the Kurentovanje Parade, the festivities continued inside the Slovenian National Home including music, dancing, food, drink and camaraderie.

Kurent and baby Kurent

Kurent and baby Kurent


View videos and photos of the 2019 Kurentovanje Festival


2018

Polka Hall of Fame 2018 Inductions

Nashville's polka sensation LynnMarie and Cleveland bandleader Don Wojtila were inducted into the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame at the 31st annual Polka Music Awards Show, Saturday, November 24, 2018, in the Grand Ballroom of the Downtown Cleveland Marriott Hotel. The event was the highlight of the 55th Thanksgiving Polka Weekend, Thursday - Saturday, November 22 - 24.

Don Wojtila

Don Wojtila


More on the 2018 Polka Hall of Fame Inductions


15th Polka Hall of Fame Slovenian Sausage Fest

About 1,100 polka-lovers danced their calories away at the SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio, on Wednesday, September 12, at the 15th annual Slovenian Sausage Festival hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum. Visitors sampled sausages from vendors and voted their favorite, then took to the dance floor for eight hours of music by top polka performers.

Marie and Bill Azman, proprietors of Azman's Quality Meats with Denny Bucar of the Polka Hall of Fame

Marie and Bill Azman, proprietors of Azman's Quality Meats
with Denny Bucar of the Polka Hall of Fame


More from the 15th Polka Hall of Fame Slovenian Sausage Fest


One World Day 2018

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation (CCGF) hosted the 73rd annual One World Day on September 16, 2018. A highlight is the Parade of Flags where people in costumes of their heritage carry the flags. The Slovenian Garden was well-represented in the Parade.

Slovenian Garden in the Parade of Flags at 2018 One World Day

Slovenian Garden in the Parade of Flags


Slovenian Garden in the Parade of Flags at 2018 One World Day

See video, photos and more from the Parade of Flags

Back to the 2018 One World Day main page


Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators

Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators: Their Contributions to America and the World by Edward Gobetz, a retired sociology professor from Kent State University, features three dozen individuals and three families whose have made them worthy of mention.

This hardcover, large format bibliophile edition of over 400 pages, presents over one hundred inventors and innovators, including two American Inventors of the Year, several NASA inventors and directors, three astronauts, designer of the Car of the Future exhibited at New York World Fair, Head of General Motors Coach (Bus) Division, designer of Boeing 747 which, according to Dr. Neil Armstrong "forever changed long distance travel" (and includes Air Force One, the plane of American presidents), several medical inventions, and much more

Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators book


Edward Gobetz, 90, was born in Slovenia and earned his doctorate in sociology from Ohio State University. Professor Emeritus Edward Gobetz, Ph.D. writes "Slovenian American inventors and innovators have contributed to American and international progress much more than anyone would have ever dared to dream. God bless Slovenia, the beautiful Central European land that gave them to us and God bless America, the land of freedom and unequalled opportunities where their talents could be fully developed!"

Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators (406 pages, hardcover) costs $50 from Slovenian Research Center, 29227 Eddy Road, Willoughby Hills 44092.


Virtual Tour of the Slovenian Cultural Garden in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a chain of 30 or so gardens in Rockefeller Park in Cleveland each honoring a certain heritage and ethnicity. The Slovenian Cultural Garden was dedicated in 1932. This brief walking tour shows the upper level of the Slovenian Garden on East Blvd. and the busts of Bishop Baraga, Ivan Cankar and Ivan Zorman. There is more in the lower level.

Click on the white arrow to watch.




2018 Kurentovanje Parade in Cleveland

The 6th annual Cleveland version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - was a weeklong event featuring dinners, a dance party, bocce tournament and more. But the highlight was the annual Kurentovanje parade followed by the festival celebration in the Slovenian National Home.

Creature at Cleveland Kurentovanje Parade

Scaring away winter at the Cleveland Kurentovanje Parade


View videos and photos of the 2018 Kurentovanje parade in Cleveland


2018 Kurentovanje Festival in Cleveland

After the Kurentovanje Parade, the festivities continued inside the Slovenian National Home including music, dancing, food, drink and camaraderie.

Prince and Princess of Kurentovanje - Philip Monreal and Abigail Bartlett

Prince and Princess of Kurentovanje - Philip Monreal and Abigail Bartlett


One of the highlights was the performance by Folklorna Skupina Kres who performed two dances at the 2018 Kurentovanje festival.

Folklorna Skupina Kres

Folklorna Skupina Kres dancers


View videos and photos of the 2018 Kurentovanje Festival


Slovenian Women in the US exhibit in Cleveland

Luka Zibelnik is a volunteer at the Slovenian Museum and Archives (SMA) in Cleveland. Luka is an instructor from the University of Ljubljana and is teaching Slovenian language courses at both Cleveland State University (The Center for Slovenian Studies) and Lakeland Community College.

He gave us a quick tour of a new exhibit at the SMA featuring Slovenian Women in the US. He was dressed in costume as part of the Kurentovanje celebration.

Click on the white arrow to watch the video.




2017

Fashions from Slovenia at Cleveland multicultural party

A highlight of the 8th Annual ICC-WIN Cleveland Multicultural Holiday Celebration on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland was the International Fashion Show featuring almost 100 models from about 30 countries.

Natasha Paros-Gaser (president) and David Turk (vice president) of Folklore Ensemble KRES representing Slovenia. These costumes are from the region of Gorenjska which consist of several elaborate pieces of varying fabrics, colors, and designs.

Most dances performed by Folklorna skupina Kres are done in the Folklore Ensemble KRES noša. This costume ensemble is the most intricate and distinguishable out of all regions in Slovenia.

(Click on the white arrow to watch the video)



Natasha Paros-Gaser (president) and David Turk (vice president) of Folklore Ensemble KRES representing Slovenia.

Natasha Paros-Gaser and David Turk
representing Slovenia

Natasha Paros-Gaser and David Turk representing Posing with the map of Slovenia

Natasha Paros-Gaser and David Turk representing Slovenia

See more from the Cleveland Multicultural Holiday Celebration


30th annual Polka Music awards

Six polka performers scored their first wins at the 30th annual polka music awards, presented by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum, including Klancnik & Friends as Band of the Year. Twenty-two awards were presented at a gala stage show on Saturday, November 25, 2017.

Bandleader Frank Stanger was inducted into the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame

Bandleader Frank Stanger was inducted into
the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame


More from the 30th annual Polka Music awards


Republic of Slovenia Prime Minister Miro Cerar in Cleveland

The Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia Mr. Andrej G. Rode hosted a reception in Honor of His Excellency Dr. Miro Cerar Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia on Friday, September 22, 2017 at the Slovenian National Home in Cleveland Ohio. Slovenian Ambassador to the US Stanislav Vidovic also attended.

Prime Minister Dr. Miro Cerar

Slovenia Prime Minister Dr. Miro Cerar


Photos and video from the Slovenian Prime Minister event


14th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival

Smoked sausages and polka music attracted a crowd of more than 1,200 to SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio, for the 14th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum on a warm and sunny Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

Polka music legends Ron Sluga and Walter Ostanek, Canada's Polka King

Polka music legends Ron Sluga and Walter Ostanek, Canada's Polka King


Photos and more from the Slovenian Sausage Festival


Republic of Slovenia 26th Independence Day

The 26th anniversary of the creation of the Republic of Slovenia in 1991 was celebrated in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall on Friday June 30, 2017. The country declared of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Andrej Gregor Rode, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia, hosted the event which included dignitaries, recognition of Slovenian organizations, the Slovenian Chorus Fantje Na Vasi and Slovenian food and wine.

Fantje na vasi

Fantje na vasi (Boys from the village)

Photos and videos from Slovenian Statehood Day in Cleveland 2017


August Pust inducts the late William (Bill) Miller into Cleveland International Hall of Fame

Former Plain Dealer ethnic reporter Bill Miller was inducted posthumously into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in front of 500 attendees on April 18, 2017. He was represented by his wife Marianna Miller.

Read Bill's bio and see photos and videos from the induction ceremony

Bill MIller

Bill Miller

August Pust inducting Bill Miller

August Pust inducting Bill Miller

August Pust and Marianna Miller

August Pust and Marianna Miller

Marianna Miller accepting for her late husband Bill

Marianna Miller accepting for her late husband Bill


Click on the white arrow in the image below to watch the video of August and Marianna. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.



See more from the 2017 Cleveland International Hall of Fame inductions.


2017 5th Annual Kurentovanje Parade

The 5th annual Cleveland version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - began with a parade. The units gathered at Sterle's on East 55th and marched up St Clair to the Slovenian National Home.

5th annual Sloevenian Kurentovanje Parade in Cleveland


See photos and videos from the Kurentovanje Parade


Kurentovanje Festival

After the Parade, the Kurentovanje celebration continued at the Slovenian National Home. Music, dancing, food and fun.

Councilman Mike Polensek, Kurent and Slovenian Consul General Andrej G. Rode

Councilman Mike Polensek, Kurent and
Slovenian Consul General Andrej G. Rode



See photos and videos from the Kurentovanje Celebration


Folklorna Skupina Kres at Kurentovanje

The Folklorna Skupina Kres was established in 1954 and the current group of Kres Slovenian Folklore Dancers performed at the 5th annual Cleveland Kurentovanje Festival.

Kres Slovenian Folk Dance at Cleveland Kurentovanje

See photos and videos from the Folklorna Skupina Kres at Kurentovanje


2016

Slovenian Cultural Garden on One World Day

Slovenian Cultural Garden on One World Day

Slovenian Cultural Garden on One World Day


More from 2016 One World Day in Cleveland Cultural Gardens


Senator George Voinovich

The shocking and sad news of the passing of beloved Mayor/Governor/Senator George Voinovich came just a day or so after his appearance at the Republic of Slovenia 25th Independence Day celebration in Cleveland City Hall. We saw Sen. Voinovich at the Slovenian Independence Day event and he looked healthy and sharp. His ad lib speech when called to the podium was classic George Voinovich - humble, smart and caring.

Senator George Voinovich

Senator George Voinovich on June 10,2016

Leaders in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens paid tribute to the Senator on Sunday morning - watch the video clips.

Also Senator George Voinovich was inducted into the inaugural class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in 2010. See his impressive bio from that event.

Senator George Voinovich tribute page


25th anniversary of Slovenian Independence

The 25th anniversary of the creation of the Republic of Slovenia in 1991 was celebrated in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall on Friday June 10, 2016.

Dignitaires included Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the U.S. Božo Cerar, Gorazd Zmauc, Minister of the Republic of Slovenia for Slovenians Abroad, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Slovenian Consul General Andrej Gregor Rode and Senator George Voinovich.

Mike Polensek, Mayor Frank Kackson, Minister Gorazd Žmavc, Ambassador Božo Cerar and Senator George Voinovich

Mike Polensek, Mayor Frank Jackson, Minister Gorazd Žmavc,
Ambassador Božo Cerar and Senator George Voinovich


25th anniversary of Slovenian Independence program

People at the Slovenian Independence Day event (who do you recognize?)


2016 Kurentovanje Parade

The 4th annual Cleveland version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - began with a parade. The units gathered on February 6, 2016 at Sterle's on East 55th and marched up St Clair to the Slovenian National Home.

Kurents at 2016 Cleveland Kurentovanje Parade

Kurents marching in the Parade

Photos and Video from the 2016 Kurentovanje Parade in Cleveland


2016 Kurentovanje Festival

After the Parade, the celebration moved inside the Slovenian National Home.



Dancing a polka at Kurentovanje

Dancing a polka at Kurentovanje


Photos and Video from the 2016 Kurentovanje Festival in Cleveland







2015

New Slovenian Consul General and exhibit at Slovenian Museum and Archives

Slovenian Consul General Andrej Gregor Rode has only been at his new post in Cleveland for 3 weeks. He was on hand for the presentation of an exhibit at the Slovenian Museum and Archives called "Forgive Us, Forgive Us, Oh You, the Dead."

The exhibit is dedicated to Jewish soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian army who fell on the Isonzo Front (Soska Fronta) of World War I in the territory of present day Slovenia.

Luka Zibelnik, Lecturer at the Center for Slovenian Studies at Cleveland State University, was the driving force in getting the exhibition to Cleveland.

Luka Zibelnik

Luka Zibelnik


See photos and videos from the Slovenian Museum and Archives.


Polka Hall of Fame Farewell to Consul Jure Zmauc

As Consul General Jure Zmauc completed his service in the US and preparing to move back to Slovenia, he was honored and bid farewell at a special reception at the Polka Hall of Fame in Euclid

Joe Valencic, president of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum in Euclid  and Consul Jure Zmauc

Polka Hall president Joe Valencic and Consul Jure Zmauc

Video and Photos from the Polka Hall of Fame reception


Slovenian Statehood celebration and Farewell to Consul Jure Zmauc

The celebration of 24 years of Slovenian Statehood in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall was bittersweet. This was the 6th and final event for Consul General Jure Zmauc who is completing his service in the US and moving back to Slovenia.

2 pages of Video, Photos and more from the City Hall event.

Jure and Janja Zmauc

Jure and Janja Zmauc




Slovenian Choir at Statehood celebration

The Choir was a highlight of the celebration of 24 years of Slovenian Statehood in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall.

Video, Photos and more of the Choir.

The Cleveland Slovenian Choir sang Slovenija V Svetu (Slovenian and the World)





Dick Russ inducted into Cleveland International Hall of Fame

Slovenian-American Dick Russ has been serving the people of Northeast Ohio for some 40 years, both as a professional journalist and as a leader in the community's civic life. He is currently Vice President of North Coast Community Homes, a non-profit organization which develops and maintains housing for people who have disabilities.

Dick also serves as executive producer of Eastern Christian Media, a private not-for-profit multi-media company which he co-founded in Cleveland, and as a board member of St. Peter the Rock Media, a company bringing Catholic Radio to Cleveland.

Dick Russ was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame by his longtime Channel 8 co-anchor Loree Vick.

Dick Russ

Dick Russ

Read more about Dick Russ

Over 500 people attended the induction ceremony on April 29, 2015 at the Marriott at Key Center.

Video, photos and more soon from the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

Slovenian Irish Slo-Ish Bowling Tournament

The Slo-Ish bowling tournament started 4 years ago April 2012. Colleen Frank was on her way to a Slovenian meeting and thought there should be an event that both Irish and Slovenian groups did together and maybe grow the memberships of both groups. Bowling came to mind.

When she went to the SNPJ meeting they loved the idea. She also met with the board of the Irish Club and they loved the idea. Colleen and her Slovenian friend Gina Volpe have been organizing it ever since.

The groups involved are SNPJ Loyalites Lodge #158, Slovenian Society Home- Euclid, and the Irish American Club Eastside.

Photos and more on the 2015 SloIsh Tournament.

Gina Volpe Joe Evanish Lou Novak Colleen Frank

Gina Volpe, Joe Evanish, Lou Novak and Colleen Frank




2014

2014 Polka Hall of Fame Music Awards

The Frank Stanger Orchestra repeated as Band of the Year at the 27th annual polka music awards ceremony presented by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, November 29, 2014.

The musical stage show was the high point of the 51st Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend, held at the Downtown Cleveland Marriott Hotel.

The Awards Show theme, "Down at the Friendly Tavern," paid tribute to the clubs, halls and lounges that hosted polka dances. Large-scale murals of vintage tavern photos were displayed on the ballroom walls. Forty-three musicians appeared on the main stage in the traditional jam session on Friday evening.

Joe Valencic, Polka Hall of Fame President, and Mark Habat, Vice President, with Bishop Edward Pevec after the Polka Mass at the Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend.

Joe Valencic, Polka Hall of Fame President, and Mark Habat, Vice President, with Bishop Edward Pevec after the Polka Mass

More from the 2014 Polka Hall of Fame Music Awards


2014 Cleveland Kurentovanje Festival

Returning for its second year on Saturday March 1st 2014, The Cleveland Kurentovanje Festival is based on the most popular carnival event in Slovenia and the central figure of the carnival, the Kurent, is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with its supernatural powers.

The Slovenian National Home, St Clair Superior Development Corp and Sterle's Country House partnered with local businesses and institutions to bring a piece of this cultural event to St. Clair Avenue on Saturday March 1st, 2014

Kurenti lead the Cleveland Kurentovanje parade

Kurents at the Parade

2014 Cleveland Kurentovanje Parade Highlights

2014 Cleveland Kurentovanje Festival at the Slovenian National Home


Consul General of Slovenia Jure Žmauc with wife and daughter and Kurent

Consul General of Slovenia Jure Žmauc
with wife Janja and daughter Nika (and Kurent)



2013

Slovenian Sausage Festival

The 10th annual Slovenian Sausage Festival hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum was held Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio. SNPJ is short for Slovenska Narodna Podporna Jednota which translates to Slovene National Benefit Society.

Besides the great Slovenian sausage (kranjska klobasa), eight polka music ensembles volunteered to perform for the Polka Hall of Fame fundraiser. Many visitors brought accordions for impromptu jam sessions.

Polka accordion band jam

Photos and videos from the Slovenian Sausage Festival


Slovenian Statehood Day at Cleveland City Hall

The Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall was packed on the evening of June 21, 2013 to celebrate 22 years of Slovenian Statehood. The event featured dignitaries such as Slovenian Ambassador Roman Kirn, Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Councilmen Joe Cimperman and Mike Polensek.

His Excellency Roman Kirn, Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia

Roman Kirn, Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia

Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc

Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc


Slovenian music was performed by Violinist Joseph Stepec, Music Director of the Euclid Symphony Orchestra and guitarist Johnny Srsen.

3 pages of photos and videos from the Slovenian Statehood event


Ambassador Kirn meets the Slovenian Lady

The mayor of Ljubljana presented the hand-carved work, The "Lady of Slovenia" to the mayor of Cleveland in 1938, as a token of good will between the two cities.

Ambassador Kirn and others posed with the statue in Cleveland City Hall on Statehood Day in June.

August Pust, Slovenian Ambassador to US Roman Kirn and Joe Cimperman with the statue in June 2013

August Pust, Slovenian Ambassador Roman Kirn
and Councilman Joe Cimperman


See more about the Slovenian Lady statue


Bishop Anthony Edward Pevec honored

Bishop Anthony Edward Pevec was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame on Wednesday May 8, 2013. Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc inducted Bishop Pevec.

Bishop A. Edward Pevec

Bishop A. Edward Pevec

Consul General of Slovenia Jure Zmauc hands Bishop Edward Pevec his Cleveland International Hall of Fame award

Consul General of Slovenia Jure Zmauc hands Bishop Edward Pevec
his Cleveland International Hall of Fame award


More from the 2013 Cleveland International Hall of Fame.


First annual Kurentovanje Parade in Cleveland
East 60's - Lausche and St Clair
February 23, 2013

Kurentovanje is a cultural event which connects ethnology, culture, arts, and people from all over Europe. It has been celebrated in Slovenia for the past 50 years. The central figure of the carnival, the Kurent, is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with its supernatural powers.

Kurenti at Cleveland's Kurentovanje

Kurenti at Cleveland's Kurentovanje



First annual Kurentovanje Festival in Cleveland
Slovenian National Home - 6417 St. Clair Ave.
February 23, 2013


After the Parade, the Festival continued at the Slovenian National Home where there was dancing in the streets, food, drink, music, vendors and fun.

Dancing in the streets at Cleveland Kurentovanje festival

Dancing in the streets at Cleveland Kurentovanje festival



2012

Slovenian Community at Opening of Ames Family Atrium
Cleveland Museum of Art
October 28, 2012

The Cleveland Slovenian community was represented at the grand opening of the Ames Family Atrium in the Cleveland Museum of Art on Sunday October 28, 2012.

Slovenian table


Ed O'Shaben at Slovenian table

Ed O'Shaben at Slovenian table

Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc

Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc


Back to Ames Family Atrium Opening at Cleveland Museum of Art


Slovenian Ambassador Roman Kirn at the Polka Hall of Fame
October 12, 2012

His Excellency Roman Kirn, Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia to the United States of America, visited Cleveland October 10-13, 2012 and took part in events covering education, business, media, government and the Slovene Diaspora. One of his stops was at the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in Euclid.

Joe Valencic, Consul Zmauc, Ambassador Kirn and Tony Petkovsek

Joe Valencic, Consul Jure Zmauc,
Ambassador Roman Kirn and Tony Petkovsek



Slovenian Style Polka at the Polka Hall of Fame
October 12, 2012
Photos and videos including a polka jam.

Joe Valencic, Joe Novak, Hank Guzel Jr. and Bob Kravos discussed and played Cleveland Style or Slovenian style of Polka at the Polka Hall of Fame. Why do they prefer Cleveland style? In the words of Frankie Yankovic, "Just Because."

Slovenian Ambassador Roman Kirn with Polka musicians Hank Guzel Jr., Bob Kravos  and Joe Novak

Slovenian Ambassador Roman Kirn with Polka musicians
Hank Guzel Jr., Bob Kravos and Joe Novak


Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc spoke at the annual Diplomatic Seder. He told how he was asked why, after years of being in a union and finally becoming free, Slovenians wanted to join the EU, another union. He said that this was the first time that we wanted to join.




Father Perkovich and Eddie Vallus Bring the Polka Mass to SNPJ Farm
The Polka Mass enhances the spiritual experience with hymns set to favorite polka and waltz melodies. It's a unique expression of faith, originated by Slovenian-Americans forty years ago.


Slovenian Statehood Day at Cleveland City Hall
On June 25, 1991 Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia. To celebrate the 21 years of Slovenian Statehood, a special event was held in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall with dignitaries, music and food. Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia Mr. Jure Žmauc and Mrs. Janja Žmauc hosted the event.

Councilman Mike Polensek, Consul General Jure Zmauc, Nika Zmauc, Oto Vrhovnik, Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilman Joe Cimperman and Martina Jakomin

Councilman Mike Polensek, Consul General Jure Zmauc, Nika Zmauc, Slovenian Composer Oto Vrhovnik, Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilman Joe Cimperman and Martina Jakomin



Cecilia Dolgan retires as president of Polka Hall of Fame

Joe Valencic new leader of Polka Hall of Fame

Tony Petkovsek and Joe Valencic

Tony Petkovsek and Joe Valencic



Dr Vlad Rus in Cleveland International Hall of Fame



Dr. Vladimir Rus was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame on Wednesday May 9, 2012. Dr. Rus was introduced by Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman.

See photos and videos of his induction speech and more.


Dr. Vladimir Rus at the Cleveland Slovenian American Heritage Foundation
March 13, 2012

August Pust and Vladimir Rus

August Pust and Vladimir Rus



2011

20 years of Slovenian Statehood
Cleveland City Hall - June 24, 2011

Dr. Boštjan Žekš, Minister for Slovenes Abroad

Dr. Boštjan Žekš, Minister for Slovenes Abroad,
speaks at Cleveland City Hall



Terry Stewart, CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum inducted Tony Petkovsek into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Terry Stewart with Cleveland International Hall of Fame inductee Tony Petkovsek

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Terry Stewart with Cleveland International Hall of Fame inductee Tony Petkovsek

Tony Petkovsek at the podium

Congratulations Tony!

More photos & video of Tony Petkovsek at the Cleveland International Hall of Fame


The Honorable Lojze Peterle in Cleveland
Lojze Peterle is a Member of the European Parliament and the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia
He spoke in Cleveland February 4, 2011

Consul Jure Zmauc and Lojze Peterle

Consul Jure Zmauc and Lojze Peterle



2010

Ivan Cankar Bust Rededication
Slovenian Cultural Garden - June 18, 2010

Johanna Bajc, August Pust, Maryann Vogel and Consul Zmauc

Johanna Bajc, August Pust, Maryann Vogel and Consul Zmauc



Donation of Slovenian Books
Cleveland Slovenian Museum and Archives - May 14, 2010

Borut Ambrozic, President of the Rotary in Maribor Park, Slovenia with Bishop Pevec

Borut Ambrozic, President of the Rotary in Maribor Park, Slovenia
with Bishop Pevec



2009 and before

Frankie Yankovic Square
Photos from the 2007 Dedication


Cleveland councilman Mike Polensek and polka radio host Tony Petkovsek with the new Frankie Yankovic Square signs.

Cleveland councilman Mike Polensek and
polka radio host Tony Petkovsek




Organizations and Resources for Slovenians in Cleveland

Slovenian Genealogy Society International (SGSI)
The purpose of the Slovenian Genealogy Society International (SGSI), Inc. is to enrich the lives of individuals with Slovenian ancestry by helping them forge a link to the past. This Cleveland non-profit has numerous resources and a database of almost 1 million names to help you find your Slovenian roots and relatives.

 Rose Marie (Macek) Jisa, president of SGSI

Rose Marie (Macek) Jisa, president of SGSI




On August 22, 2009, The Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs relieved Consul General Dr. Zvone Žigon from his official duties in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Žigon completed his four-year diplomatic term in the city which claims the largest population of Slovenians outside of Slovenia. The Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland remains the sole diplomatic office in the State of Ohio.

The Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appointed Mr. Jure Žmauc as the succeeding Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland, with consular jurisdiction over the states of Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. This is Consul General Žmauc's second post as a Consul General; he previously held the position in Klagenfurt, Austria.

Slovenian Consul General Jure Zmauc

In this short video, Jure Zmauc spoke about the relationship between Cleveland Ohio and the Republic of Slovenia at the first annual Kurentovanje Festival in Cleveland.




Consul General Žmauc has a degree in Construction from the Maribor School of Construction and Architecture, and a Law degree from the University of Ljubljana, School of Law. His legal career has included positions in the Maribor Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Court of Austria.

In 1994, Mr. Žmauc served as Director of the Center for International Cooperation at the University of Maribor. From 1994 to 1995, and again in 1997, Mr. Žmauc was Assistant Instructor in Civil Law and International Business Law at the University of Maribor, School of Law. In 1997, he worked as Counselor at the Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office for Slovenes Abroad.

In 1998, he began his diplomatic career as a Consul at the Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia in Klagenfurt, Austria. In 2001, Mr. Žmauc became Consul General there, and completed his four-year term in 2005, serving a total of seven years in Klagenfurt. Prior to his current post, Mr. Žmauc spent four years as Secretary at the Republic of Slovenia, Office for Slovenes Abroad, serving as the Director of the Sector for Cooperation with Slovenes Abroad.

In addition to his native Slovenian, Consul General Žmauc speaks English, German, Croatian and Serbian. His wife, Janja, and their two children join him in Cleveland. Otherwise, the Žmauc family resides permanently in Maribor Slovenia.


Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland
Former Slovenian Consul General Dr. Zvone Žigon


Slovenian Consul General Dr. Zvone Žigon

Slovenian Cultural Garden
Bishop Baraga, Simon Gregocic and more

Polka Hall of Fame
Cleveland-style (Slovenian) Polka

American-Slovenian Belokranjski Klub


Thomas Jefferson and Slovenians

Slovenians, Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence plaque in downtown Cleveland

Submit your Cleveland Slovenian organizations and resources.

Business, Education and Employment Information

Submit your Cleveland Slovenian jobs, classes and other opportunities.


Cleveland Slovenian Feedback and Memories

Cleveland Slovenians and the City of Euclid
Professor Edward Gobetz at Slovenian Day at Euclid Historical Museum


Submit your Cleveland Slovenian Feedback and Memories.


Slovenian History and Culture


Tell us about the music, food, holidays, traditions, costumes, language and other qualities that make Slovenians so special.



Slovenian Lady Wood Carving in Cleveland City Hall
A gift from the people of Ljubljana

August Pust and the Slovenian Lady statue wood carving in Cleveland City Hall

Dr. August Pust and the Slovenian Lady in Cleveland City Hall


America's Polka King (Book Review)
The Frankie Yankovic story - by Bob Dolgan

Slovenian-American Cleveland Private Detective
Milan Jacovich stories by Les Roberts


The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe where the Alps and the Mediterranean meet the Pannonian plains and the mysterious Karst. Slovenia has a population of 2 million and its capital city is Ljubljana. The official language is Slovene, one of the South Slavonic languages.

In Slovenia, the sun shines approximately 2000 hours per year. And yes, there is plenty of snow in winter. As a small, beautiful and picturesque country, Slovenia makes a great tourist destination. Mountains, lakes, waterfalls, forests, caves, hills, plains, rivers and the sea - you name it, you can find it all within a modest 20.273 km2 (half the size of Switzerland), as well as many natural and landscape parks.

You can ski in the morning and surrender yourself to the luxury of the Adriatic Sea in the afternoon. Slovenia has 46.6 km of sea coast - an inch per inhabitant.


Map of Slovenia

The Slovene lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter's dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new multinational state, which was named Yugoslavia in 1929.

After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war.

Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia's transformation to a modern state. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

(facts courtesy of CIA World Fact Book)


Submit your Cleveland Slovenian cultural items.


Profiles of Slovenians in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio

Cecilia "Cilka" Dolgan
Cleveland Slovenian Polka Star and President of the Polka Hall of Fame

Jan Paulich Jones
From Morning to PM, her smile shines through



If you know of a Cleveland Slovenian who should be profiled,
please let us know.
ClevelandPeople.Com - Slovenian Ambassadors

Joe Valencic
Joe Valencic

Read more about the Slovenian and other Ambassadors. If you are interested in being considered to be an official ClevelandPeople.com Ambassador to the Cleveland Slovenian community, please contact us.




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