Slovenefest, other SNPJ events canceled

Couples twirl around the dance floor at the 2017 Slovenefest. This year's event has been canceled because of coronavirus concerns.

The Slovenefest at SNPJ has been canceled because of the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event had been planned for July 10-12 at the SNPJ Recreation Center. The Miss SNPJ Pageant also is cancelled.

The SNPJ Recreation Center is closed as a nonessential business and is awaiting decisions from the state of Pennsylvania as to when it can reopen, Slovenefest chairman Joseph C. Evanish said in a letter posted on the cultural center's Facebook page.

Even if the SNPJ Recreation Center re-opens prior to July with no restrictions on large gatherings, SNPJ is concerned for the safety and health of its members, customers, vendors, bands, staff and volunteers, Evanish wrote.

"Many other festivals and concerts have been cancelled for this summer. We feel that having a festival go on with hundreds to thousands of people gathering for three days would be irresponsible and reckless at this unprecedented time," Evanish wrote.

"Slovenefest is not just a festival celebrating our heritage, it is a traditional annual reunion for family and friends," he continued. "This is why this is such a heart wrenching decision. We will plan for a big comeback for Slovenefest next year on July 9-11, 2021."

All of its facilities, amenities and  office buildings are closed until further notice. The management and staff are on duty to provide maintenance and security and perform limited essential functions.

The trailer park also will remain closed until further notice and gates securing the area are locked.

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