Slovakian mayor visits Youngstown to help open weekend’s festival

Over time, thousands of immigrants from the northeastern part of Slovakia settled in the Mahoning Valley

Mayor Jan Volny in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As Youngstown prepares for Saturday’s Simply Slavic Festival, the city welcomes a special guest from Slovakia.

Mayor Jan Volny is from the city of Spišská Nová Ves in the northeastern part of the country.

Over time, thousands of immigrants from that region settled in the Mahoning Valley.

Volney and Mayor John McNally unveiled woodcarvings of the seals for both cities Friday morning.

McNally said it’s an important connection for Youngstown.

“Since 1991, the City of Youngstown has enjoyed a sister city relationship with his city and we have a local group, Sister City, Inc., that has done a lot of cultural and educational work in the mayor’s city.”

In 25 years, the Youngstown Spišská Nová Ves Sister Cities Program, Inc. has spearheaded such efforts as the shipment of tens of millions of dollars in diagnostic medical equipment to Slovakia, the sponsorship of dozens of English language teachers, the hosting of Slovak students in the United States, supporting annual tours to Slovakia, and facilitating the visits of multiple business, diplomatic, and cultural performance groups to Youngstown.

Both mayors will cut the ribbon to open the 7th annual Simply Slavic Festival on Saturday. The festival runs from noon until midnight in Federal Plaza, downtown Youngstown.

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