PRESS PHOTOS BY DANA GRUBBStephen Antalics Jr. chats with Vesna and Amir Kolmanic prior to the ceremony. Antalics, founder of the Bethlehem-Murska Sobota Sister Cities Association, filled in as master of ceremonies for president Gene Novak, who is recovering from an accident. The Kolmanics are the wife and son of guest speaker Vladimir Kolmanic, deputy chief of mission at the Republic of Slovenia Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Accompanied by Alex Gergar on the accordion, Betty Sylva and Frank Podleiszek sing the “Star Spangled Banner.” Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Inclement weather forced the ceremony into Town Hall where Shirley Dalusio and Debra Smith presented the Slovenian flag during the singing of the Slovenian National Anthem. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Deputy Chief of Mission Vladimir Kolmanic spoke about Slovenia achieving its independence and credited support by its allies which include the United States. He also noted the tourism has increased significantly in Slovenia with a 30 percent increase in Americans visiting. First Lady Melania Trump’s Slovenian ethnicity is credited for the bump in tourism. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Flag #5: Attendees at the ceremony joined in singing “God Bless America” at its conclusion. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Below: Attendees at the ceremony joined in singing “God Bless America” at its conclusion. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Sister City program marks 21st year
Gray skies and drizzle forced the annual Slovenian flag raising ceremony from Payrow Plaza into Town Hall on June 23, but the spirit of those in attendance was not dampened.
Bethlehem-Murska Sobota Sister Cities Association founder Stephen Antalics Jr. acted as master of ceremonies and Robi Poredos of the Slovenian Press Agency gave the invocation and benediction.
The guest speaker was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Republic of Slovenia Embassy Vladimir Kolmanic, who attended with his wife, Vesna, and son, Amir. Kolmanic noted the 26th anniversary of Slovenian independence and 21st anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Bethlehem and Murska Sobota.
Alex Karras represented Mayor Bob Donchez offering welcoming remarks and Rosemary Hensel presented a proclamation recognizing Slovenian independence and the Sister Cities Association on behalf of Representative Steve Samuelson.
Alex Gergar provided musical accompaniment and Betty Sylva and Frank Podleiszek led the singing of both country’s national anthems and “America the Beautiful.”