Calendar of Events

Saturday, June 6, 2015

SASW Picnic

Where: Fort Hunt Park--area C-001, 8999 Fort Hunt Rd., Alexandria, VA 22308. Fort Hunt Park is located on the George Washington Memorial Parkway between Alexandria and the Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens.

Directions: From Old Town Alexandria, drive south on Washington St. and continue on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Take the exit for Fort Hunt Park and follow the signs into the park.

From Mount Vernon, drive north on the George Washington Parkway. Take the exit for Fort Hunt Park and follow the signs into the park.

Parking is available in each of the picnic areas from November to March. When picnic areas are reserved, public parking is available in Area E and in a small parking lot at the end of the loop road, near Area A.

When: 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm

Join us for a Slovak-style picnic, jointly organized with the Slovakia Meetup Group. Food will include sausage, hot dogs, and hamburgers, along with salads and desserts. Draft beer, sodas, and other soft drinks will be available. We'll have games for both adults and children. Prepaid reservations are required so that we can make sure to have enough food and drink for all attending.

Cost: Members: Single Person $15, Couple $25
Non-Members: Single Person $20, Couple $30
Children: Up to age 11 free, age 11-18 $7.50, $10 for two children.

Please consider bringing a dessert or side dish/salad to share.

RSVP and send check to:
Georgene Chastain
4916 S. Centaurs Ct.
Annandale, VA 22003

RSVP by noon, Monday, June 1.

Saturday, May 16, 2015 (rain date May 23)


Where: 6546 Koziara Drive, Burke, VA (home of Ludo and Kim Hintos)

When: 1:00-5:00pm

Cost: $10/adult, $5/kids 10 and older, and free/kids under 10

The outdoor gulas cooking and eating party will include gulas, beer, soft drinks, hamburgers, hot dogs, and chips. Everyone is encouraged to bring a dish or drink to share.

Please RSVP to with your name, email address, and number of adults and children attending. Also, please mail a check to the above address by May 8, so we know how much food to prepare. There is a limit of 25 persons.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Birds of Passage: Achieving the American Dream"

Talk by Bob Dvorchak

Where: Slovak Embassy

When: 2:00pm

Cost: Free

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Slovaks came to the United States to earn money, but wanted to return to Slovakia-hence the term 'Birds of Passage'. However, circumstances changed and many of them found their destinies in America: they came for one reason but stayed for another. Although every family story is unique, there are common threads to which any Slovak or immigrant family can relate. Bob Dvorchak uses the story of his paternal grandparents, who were Birds of Passage, to talk about the economic conditions that compelled Slovaks to leave their homes, the lives they made for themselves here as part of the Industrial Age, and their eventual creation of a new home.

The grandson of Slovak immigrants, Bob Dvorchak worked as a journalist for 47 years, covering major news and sports events around the country and around the world, including the first war with Iraq. Bob worked in various positions for Uniontown Newspapers Inc., the Associated Press, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. For eight years, he was an AP national writer based in New York City. He left the Post-Gazette in 2012 and now writes on his own.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Where: Reston, VA (directions given at time of RSVP)

When: 1:00-5:00PM

Cost: $5/person (payable at event). SASW MEMBERS GET PREFERENCE.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED -- Attendance limited to 5 persons. RSVP to (

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Come join us to celebrate the tradition of St. Nicholas with delicious Slovak food and live folk music by Pajtáši. A buffet dinner will feature traditional cabbage soup, chicken and pork schnitzels, halušky, holubky, Slovak potato salad, pirohy, cucumber salad, and pastries. For the children, there will be a visit by Sv. Mikuláš himself.

Where: Slovak Embassy

When: 2:00pm - 5:00pm (doors open at 1:30pm)

Cost: $35 per person for SASW members; $40 for nonmembers; children age 12 & under, free. Seating is limited to first 100 persons.


RSVP to Shirley Rich, 10614 John Ayers Dr., Fairfax, VA, 22032-3115 by noon, December 2.
Send completed reservation form and check payable to 'SASW'.

Those with small children should bring one small gift per child (wrapped and clearly labeled with the child's name) to receive from Sv. Mikuláš.Drop off gifts at the front table , as you enter.

Please encourage your child to learn a short poem or song, in Slovak or English, to present to Svätý Mikuláš.

A donation of homemade Christmas baked goods is always welcome.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

SASW Annual General Membership Meeting

When: 12:30 - 4:30pm (A light luncheon will be provided.)

Cost: free

The meeting will include the election of three board members for three-year terms and a talk by Kevin Deegan-Krause (see below).


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Politics in Today's Slovakia

Talk by Professor Kevin Deegan-Krause

Where: Slovak Embassy

When: 2:00pm

Cost: Free

The year 2014 was a big political year for Slovakia, which elected both a president and a new delegation to the European Parliament. This talk will place the results of these two elections into Slovakia's broader political developments over the last two decades, showing how Slovakia has become a microcosm of the post-communist region as a whole, and making educated guesses about the upcoming elections in 2016 and beyond.

Kevin Deegan-Krause is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University. He received a B.A. in Economics from Georgetown University in 1990 and a Ph.D. in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2000. His research in comparative politics emphasizes European politics, political parties, democratic institutions, and national identity. In 2011 he became co-editor of the European Journal of Political Research's Political Data Yearbook, with responsibility for overseeing the digitization of the yearbook and its development as an interactive data-driven website. He is the recipient of Truman and Fulbright scholarships, as well as of IREX Individual Advanced Research Grants. He has served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of State on the politics of central Europe, and his ongoing research includes projects on party transformation, populism, and the sources of electoral support for authoritarian leaders.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"World War I and the Slovaks"

Talk by Professor Martin Votruba, University of Pittsburgh

Where: Slovak Embassy

When: 2:00pm

Cost: Free

While World War I started with a series of almost operatic coincidences, it brought about grave, but also unexpectedly welcome, consequences for the Slovaks. The territory of present-day Slovakia was affected early on: the eastern front moved west, and the ancestral places of many Slovak-Americans found themselves to be temporarily occupied by Russian troops. About 70,000 Slovaks perished in the war, with a large number of others returning home wounded. At the same time, thanks partly to significant activism by Slovak-Americans, it brought the Slovaks more freedom than any armed conflict before or since the Great War.

Martin Votruba has been Director of the Slovak Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh for a quarter of a century, the only North American university where students can take Slovak culture and language classes through the advanced level and opt to receive a Minor in Slovak Studies. Partly based on queries he receives about Slovak-related topics, he maintains the Slovak Studies Program webpage at

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Folk Traditions of the Village of Jakubany, Slovakia

Kečera's first American tour!

Where: Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Rd., Fairfax, VA

When: 7:00pm

Cost: Through September 10th:
                Children $12 (ages 5-12)
                Adults $17 (ages 13 and over)
                Use the promo code "SASW" (no quotes) for an additional discount.
                After September 10th, tickets are $15/$20, respectively.

To order tickets, go to
Call 1-888-71-TICKETS.

Jakubany has a rich cultural heritage, including distinctive folklore, music, dance, and folk clothing. The villagers of Jakubany developed these traditions based on their relationships with the forests, pastures, and mountains that surround them. In fact, Kečera is named after a small mountain on the outskirts of their village.

Performances by Kečera are not only artistic and educational, but help keep alive the traditions and values of the people. Kečera depicts traditional life in Jakubany through song, dance, and costume. People from around the world have enjoyed viewing scenes from weddings, christenings, holidays, celebrations, and also everyday life. Kečera's beautiful and original songs have been recorded and sold throughout the world.

Through songs, dances, and skits we will be taken to some of the following events in the villagers' lives:
- Christening/Baptism (Kerstiny)
- Washing Clothes by the River (Rajbanie pri potoku)
- The Sunday Dance by the Jakubjanka Riverbanks (Zabava na Kamjincu)
- Mountains (Hory) - St. John's Fire (Janske Ohne) [see a video on YouTube]
- Scutching Flax
- Decorating Hats for the Groomsmen (Pirkovanije)
- Bonneting (Čepčenie)
- Induction into the Military (Rukovanie)
- St. Andrew's Day (November 30), Gathering for Spinning Flax (Večurky), and Mardi Gras (Puščaňa)

Co-sponsored by the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, National Capital Chapter.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

SASW picnic

Where: St. Luke Orthodox Church, 6801 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA (Map)

When: 1:00-5:00PM


SASW members in good standing - $20 (pre-paid reservations)

Non-member guests - $25 (pre-paid reservations)

Children 10 yrs. and under - free

Join us for a Slovak-style picnic, organized jointly with the Washington Slovak Meetup group. Admission includes food, desserts, drinks (i.e. soft drinks, wine, beer), and recorded Slovak music.

Please consider bringing a small dessert (enough for about four persons). Everyone should also bring chairs.

Send reservation along with check to:
Mrs. Shirley Rich
10614 John Ayres Drive
Fairfax, VA 22032-3115

Reservation deadline is 11:59PM on September 10, 2014. Any reservations received after this date will incur a $5 per person late fee.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"Café Night" Fundraiser


What: Café Night is a fundraiser in support of SASW's efforts to provide Slovak students in Slovakia with scholarships to attend VSM/City University in Slovakia.
Where: Bistro Bohem

When: 7:30pm

On Offer:

  • Live music by Orchester Praževica.
  • Authentic Central and Eastern European dishes, regional beers, and liquors will be available for purchase.
  • No cover charge. Donations to SASW's scholarship fund are encouraged and appreciated.

More information: Click for PDF flyer

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Slovakia in the EU 10 Years On: Promises Fulfilled?"

Talk by Rick Zednik

Where: Slovak Embassy

When: 7:00pm

Cost: Free

The spring of 2004 was momentous in the history of independent Slovakia. On May 1 of that year, the country joined the European Union. Coming as it did less than five weeks after Slovakia joined NATO, this marked the culmination of a long process that was highly uncertain in the 1990's. A decade later, we can now reflect on what enabled Slovakia to join these European and trans-Atlantic structures, and how the subsequent integration has fared.

Rick Zednik covered Slovakia's early path towards EU and NATO membership as co-founding editor of the Slovak Spectator in Bratislava, from 1994 to 2000. Since 2008 he has followed Slovakia's deepening integration within the EU as CEO at EurActiv, the EU policy news network in Brussels. Rick is a dual citizen of Slovakia and the United States. He has a BA in political science from Trinity College in Hartford, an MS from Columbia Journalism School, and an MBA from Harvard. He is the author of the family memoir A Country Lost, Then Found: Discovering My Father's Slovakia.

Co-sponsored by the Friends of Slovakia.