Beloved Polish Festival Returns to Central NY This Weekend
It's time to raise a plate of kapusta and Polka once again!
Talk about an event that makes my little Polish heart sing. All you can eat pierogi, nonstop Polka music and a day dedicated to one of Europe's most vibrant communities?
Sign. Me. Up.
Sacred Heart - St. Mary Our Lady of Czestochowa Catholic Church in New York Mills is opening its doors this Sunday to celebrate all things Poland.
The event is being billed as a perfect, family fun event.
Choose from a variety of traditional Polish foods available for purchase from the “Polish Kitchen” or select one of many American Picnic favorites from the outdoor grill, try some tasty Pizza Fritte or assorted Baked Goods. Legal Beverages (Domestic and Polish beer, wine, soda) will be available for purchase. Continuous Music Entertainment by Galicja and Tony’s Polka Band for your listening and dancing pleasure.
There will also be a money raffle with $2,500 being given away in prizes. The Grand Prize drawing is a whopping $1,000.
And that's just the teaser - there will be more fun and festivities waiting for you on Sunday.
Doors open at 12 p.m. on August 6 at 201 Main St. in New York Mills. The event runs until 8 at night.
Aside from the Polish Festival, there will also be a flea market and basket raffle happening all weekend long. Those events start Friday, August 4, at 8 a.m. and run through Sunday, August 6, at 8 p.m. ET.
Growing up Polish in CT
The reason I am so unabashedly excited for this event because it reminds me of home.
Some of my earliest memories are of my grandmother dragging me and my sister to the Polish festivals held at Warsaw Park in Ansonia, CT.
I remember being enchanted by the balloon man, winning cool prizes with all the outdoor games, eating my weight in hearty food and, of course, dancing across that cool ballroom with my grandma.
Honestly, I wasn't the best Polka dancer and was always called out for having pigeon toes. I remember feeling so frustrated that I couldn't untangle my feet or get my toes to point outward... but I did figure out the proper form eventually.
It only took me, like, a decade.
But there is a certain magic of dancing the Polka while hearing the band swell with upbeat music. It would exude a special, infectious kind of joy that could lift even the foulest of moods.
Not even the crankiest person could woe over their terrible day when Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra took the stage.
Decades later, I look back at these Polish festivals with such fondness because they helped my grandmother teach me about our ancestry and to honor our traditions. Even though she's gone, she did her job to ensure the next generation celebrated their heritage with pride.
She also taught me that Jimmy Sturr is one heck of an artist and deserves all 18 of his Grammy Awards.
Seriously, the guy's a legend.
But, I digress. The main reason why I wanted to share this personal tidbit is because I am a new transplant to Utica. I'm still learning the lay of the land and am so happy to have found an event that resonates with my childhood.
Even if you aren't Polish, I guarantee you the event happening on August 6 will be the happiest place in Central NY that day.
The Polish have gone through centuries of strife and survived countless invasions, illnesses and misfortunes. That is why we celebrate with such ferocity because, despite everything - we're still here.
And we're still dancing.
Plus, you haven't lived until you tried our babci's kielbasa and pierogi.