Dust off your dancing shoes and work up a mighty appetite, the biggest Polish celebration of the year is heading back to Utica.

This event 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.


The Polish Community Club in Utica is once again throwing its annual Wigilia celebration.

Wigilia is the traditional Christmas Eve vigil Polish people observe. It's a beautiful tradition and the members of PCC hope to share it with as many people as possible.

The event is being billed as the ultimate Christmas celebration.

The night will include a traditional Polish Christmas Eve meal, as well as sharing oplatek (Christmas wafer), singing carols, and enjoy watching the children perform a play for you.
Don't miss this opportunity to spend the evening with those close to you, this event sells out every year!

And that's just the teaser - there will be more fun and festivities waiting for you on Saturday.

Tickets for non-members are $40 while members only pay $30 at the door. They can be purchased online, too.

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Doors open at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, at the Polish Community Club in Utica. The party runs until 11 at night.

Growing up Polish in CT

The reason I am so unabashedly excited for this event because it reminds me of home. My family celebrated a traditional Polish Christmas Eve with pierogi, dancing, storytelling, and breaking oplatek.

When my Great Grandmother was still with us, the entire extended family would gather at her tiny home and celebrate with mountains of food and good spirits.

My great grandmother was Polish and left to go live in America when she was at the tender age of 16. She made sure her family didn't forget where they came from and to always celebrate their heritage.

My grandmother, her daughter, took that duty very seriously and would drag me and my sister to the Polish festivals held at Warsaw Park in Ansonia, CT, every single time.

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 magnificent ballroom with my grandma.

Courtesy Megan Stone (WIBX)
Courtesy Megan Stone (WIBX)

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.

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 December 9 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.

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