In addition to participating in the Simply Slavic festival, PolishYoungstown will celebrate St. John's Eve and the summer solstice tonight with Sobotka: Polish Happy Hour at Mill Creek MetroParks' Fellows Riverside Gardens.
The evening will include many of the Polish traditions used to celebrate St. John's Eve, which has its roots in the pagan rituals honoring fire and water.
Many cultures continue to celebrate the ancient tradition by burning bonfires, bathing in open waters at sunset, and singing and dancing until midnight. Young Polish maidens dressed in white, with wreaths of yellow and white wildflowers upon their heads, would set afloat candled wreaths on the rivers in hopes that a fitting mate would find the wreath when fishing and fall in love with them.
Festivities from 5:30 to 10 p.m. today include live music by the Chardon Polka Band, a Wianki contest where participants can make their own flower wreath and free appetizers. Polish beer, wine and vodka cocktails and other foods will be available for purchase.
Admission is free, but donations will be collected to offset costs. For more information, call 330-646-4082.