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Cleveland Kurentovanje, Slovenian-infused Mardi Gras carnival, returns to St. Clair-Superior neighborhood

Festival features virtual and in-person events
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Posted at 12:41 PM, Feb 10, 2022

CLEVELAND — For the 10th year in a row, Cleveland’s St. Clair-Superior neighborhood will celebrate the week-long Slovenian-infused Mardi Gras celebration known as Cleveland Kurentovanje, which kicks off Feb. 20 and ends Feb. 26.

The festival celebrates the changing of the seasons with the mythological and ancient creature known as Kurenti, (pictured below) who is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with their natural superpowers.

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Cleveland Kurentovanje is a week-long Slovenian-infused Mardi Gras carnival.

Before the main outdoor events of the festival at the end of the week, organizers are hosting virtual arts and culture events on Cleveland Kurentovanje’s Facebook page. Some virtual events are free while others require tickets.

Click here to register and find out more information on each event.

The series of virtual events are:

Sunday, Feb. 20 at 12 p.m.— Cooking with Cleveland Kurentovanje
For the second year, Cleveland Kurentovanje is partnering with Michelle Pušič Ryall, founder of the popular Facebook group and Youtube Channel “Slovenska Kuhinja,” for virtual cooking demonstrations. Attendees will learn to make two crowd-pleasing Slovenian recipes.

Monday, Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m.—Consular services to support Slovenian citizens with Slovenian Consul General Alenka Jerak
The Cleveland-based Consul General of Slovenia will present a number of topics related to her office's support of Slovenian citizens abroad including issuing and renewing Slovenian passports, tips on keeping one’s dual Slovenian citizenship in good standing as life events (birth of children, marriage, divorce, death, etc.) occur, matters related to Slovenian property ownership, connecting entrepreneurs and companies in the US with Slovenian businesses, consular protection for Slovenian citizens abroad, cultural events, and community outreach.

Monday, Feb. 21 at 7:45 p.m.—Slovenian language crash course
For those interested in developing practical Slovenian language skills, this presentation will start with the most practical of all... being able to speak enough Slovenian to have a great night out in Ljubljan.

Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.—Slovenian wine tasting with grape intentions
With its rich fertile soil, abundance of fresh, clean water and generational expertise, Slovenia has all the necessary elements for excellent winemaking. Participants will receive select Slovenian wines shipped directly to their homes and a private link to a live virtual wine tasting.

Tuesday, Feb, 22, All Day—Slovenian Movie Night
What does it mean to be Slovenian in the U.S.? Is it perfecting grandma's strudel recipe, dancing the polka, or is it something deeper? Women in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York and Chicago tell about the joys and challenges of expressing their Slovenian identity.

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Cleveland Kurentovanje is a week-long Slovenian-infused Mardi Gras carnival.

Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.—Researching your Slovenian Family Roots
Researching one’s heritage is akin to being a detective. Viewers will learn how to make their genealogical journey a more productive experience. Included will be lessons on how to begin research, the distinct idiosyncrasies of Slovenian culture and history that will influence research methodology, valuable web resources, and skills needed to identify what is most important in records such as ship manifests, naturalization papers, census reports, etc.

Thursday, Feb, 24 at 7 p.m.—Slovenian Accordion Concert with Hajime Anzai and Friends from Tokyo, Japan
A Cleveland Kurentovanje fan-favorite from our 2021 virtual festival, Anže, will captivate viewers again in this musical presentation. Hajime “Anže”Anzai is a Japanese professional accordion player who fell in love with Slovenia more than thirty years ago.

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Cleveland Kurentovanje is a week-long Slovenian-infused Mardi Gras carnival.

The “Kurent Jump” will kick off the festival’s in-person events as the Kurents emerge from their year-long hibernation. Attendees can enjoy hearty stews, drinks and live music from the Chardon Polka band. The outdoor event will be held at the Slovenian National Home. A limited number of tickets are available.

Saturday, Feb. 28 is the main festival day of the 2022 Cleveland Kurentovanje. The annual Kurent Dash 5K will start at 10 a.m. followed by a parade at noon featuring cultural and local organizations.

This year’s festival will be celebrated entirely outdoors in the same way it’s celebrated in Ptuj, Slovenia, the origin of the Kurentovanje’s festival.

Cleveland Kurentovanje attendees will be able to celebrate under two large open-air tents, outside the Slovenian National Home, located at 6417 St. Clair Ave and adjoining spaces where outdoor seating and heaters will provide plenty of space to enjoy the features of the day.

Organizers say attendees should dress as if they were “tailgating for a Browns game in the Muni Lot, going sledding at the Toboggan Chutes, or preparing to party outside all day.”

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Cleveland Kurentovanje is a week-long Slovenian-infused Mardi Gras carnival.

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