Even though the Poles do not celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday, that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little Polish taste to your family dinner … perhaps serving some carrot or squash pierogi… Check out our friend Babara Rolek’s column on the subject here.

Holiday Sękacz cake sale underway

Sękacz (seng-kach) cake is a popular event cake from eastern Poland that is incredible in taste and shape. Its thick, rich batter contains 40 or 50 eggs, and it is baked by pouring ladles full of batter onto a rotary spit in open oven or over a very hot wood-burning fire. As the batter bakes, it forms what look like branches. It is rotated over and over again for 10 hours. When it’s done, you stand it up vertically so that all the “branches” stick out and slice it horizontally to see the “tree rings.” In the old days, sękacz was only baked for holidays and weddings because of the time and expense to make. Get your own tasty cake! We bring it in from one of only a handful of such bakeries in the US. Learn more. For more info, call 330-333-9724.   


Kicking off the Christmas season with song

The holiday season in Cleveland is going to be extra special when it kicks off next weekend with a concert by Chicago’s renowned The Lira Ensemble. The nation's only professional performing arts company specializing in Polish music, song and dance, Lira was founded in 1965 and performs about 50 times a year nationwide, and has made six concert tours of Poland. The company consists of a symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, singers and dancers who perform serious, folk and popular Polish dance and music in the original language and in English translation. Their Christmas concert is legendary, and we are lucky to have them in our area! Zapraszamy! "Joyous Jubilee - 50 Years of Polish Carols, Song and Dance" Saturday, November 28, 2015 8 PM Connor Palace Theater on Playhouse Square, Cleveland Ticket range $25 - $55 Learn more here or call (216) 241-6000. 


Showin’ our holiday spirit at Millcreek Park

Polish Youngstown is one of 45 not-for-profit organizations decorating a tree at the Davis Center in Mill Creek Metroparks for the Winter Celebration 2015 being held throughout December. Keeping with our old-style theme, we are continuing to make paper stars and acquiring straw ornaments from Poland to adorn the tree.  The difference this year is that we are keeping with the park theme of “The Forest” and highlighting info about Poland’s famous Białowieża Forest. This World Heritage site, on the border between Poland and Belarus, is a pristine, immense range of primary forest including both conifers and broadleaved trees. Why not share some holiday spirit? Led by Community Outreach Coordinator Marianne Poprik, volunteers will decorate the tree December 2 & 3 starting at 10 AM and welcome your participation. For more info, call 330-333-9724. 

Be Part of the Holiday Parade & Show Your Slavic Pride

Simply Slavic leadership is looking for YOU to make a splash at this year’s annual Downtown Holiday Parade and tree lighting. They are looking to each of the 13 nations to represent and present a group of happy Slavs. PYTown will provide the Polish flag and banner to carry it along the short parade route. The response we received from the crowd last year was great! Can you help us make sure Poland is represented? Mark your calendars for Friday, December 4 at 5 PM for staging and step off at 5:30 PM. For more info, call 330-333-9724

Polish Happy Hour caroling with Chardon Polka Band & Holiday Celebration

Mark your calendars now Polish Happy Hour Youngstown on Thursday, December 10, 2015 from 5-6:30 Greenbrier Senior Complex and then from 7 - 10 PM at Magic Tree Pub & Eatery both on South Avenue Delicious food and vodka specials! SPECIAL GUESTS: Chardon Polka Band For more info, call 330-333-9724.

Join in the Community Celebration

The Polish Arts Club of Youngstown invites you to join them as they continue the yearlong celebration of their 80th anniversary by participating in one of the most treasured Polish traditions –Wigilia! Translated to mean "vigil" or "waiting" for the birth of Baby Jesus, wigilia is the recreation of what Poles around the world gather to do each Christmas Eve night. The annual event will include sharing of opłatek followed by a traditional wigilia meal then topped off with the singing of kolędy upstairs in the former sanctuary. A 50/50 and elegant basket raffle also will be part of the fun. ZAPRASZAMY! Wigilia Dinner on Sunday, December 6, 2015 4 PM social hour 5 PM dinner at The Brier Hill Cultural Center (formerly St. Casimir’s Church) on Jefferson Street. Secured parking. For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact Alice Morrow at 330-792-2769 or download this form.

Polska Kuchnia helps you prepare for the holidays  

Considered the most important night of the year in Poland, Wigilia brings back memories of family togetherness, the spirit of the holidays and numerous courses of food. All the dishes are meatless and should be made from foods that come from the four corners of the earth: forest, sea, field, and orchard. Polish cooks over the centuries had to be very resourceful, working within these limitations, and it is a tribute to their creativity that they came up with such a rich variety of recipes. These meals were lovingly prepared by Mama, Ciocia or Babcia…so many of us weren’t there to learn how it was done. Adding to that, who has time to devote days to this project? So instead of giving up the tradition, let’s do it together! Chef Tad has brought together some of the community’s most talented to share their recipes so you can Make & Take Wigilia staples: mushroom soup, beet soup, compote, honey cake, honey vodka, noodles, pierogi and kolache.  Just bring an apron and plenty of take-out containers, bags and tin foil. All other supplies will be provided.  Class: Saturday, December 12, 2015, 11 AM  Cost: $35  To register, go online to the website or call 330-333-9724.


A Holiday Show not to be Missed

When the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestohowa was created at St. Columba Cathedral, PolishYoungstown celebrated by hosting a performance by SLASK, one of Poland’s preeminent folk performance ensembles. Their amazing vocals and orchestral accompaniment with the altar of our cathedral in the background was incredibly moving and memorable. It was a shame so few people took advantage of this unique opportunity. In December, you will have your chance again as the group comes to the incredible Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus in Cleveland to perform their show of Kolędy. SLASK has performed in over 50 countries and on five continents -- performing over six thousand concerts for more than 20 million people. Be a part of the cultural event of the season! Make an afternoon of it as we travel to Cleveland for a guided tour at the Polish Cultural Center, a delicious Polish dinner in Slavic Village and then enjoy prime seats for the concert. Zapraszamy  Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble Kolędy Concert, Monday, December 14 Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus, East 65th Street, Cleveland. Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the door. To reserve your spot, call Jackie at 330-333-9724.

News from Poland   

Tourism is for the birds

The human population has dwindled to only 21 adults and four children in the tiny village of Zywkowo hidden in the rolling hills of northernmost Poland, about a half-mile from the Russian border. However, those villagers don’t mind because they are betting their future storks. Long a a herald of spring and good luck symbol in old Polish culture,  storks migrate every year from southern Africa to breed in the village, drawn by a wealth of pasture, farmlands and wetlands. As the darkness of winter starts to lay its blanket over the countryside, travel the path of  these birds and explore an oft overlooked part of Poland in this story. Read other stories in the most recent edition of Polish Media Watch


Calendar Highlights

Holiday Sękacz cake sale underway... Saturday, November 28, 8:00 PM Lira Ensemble Holiday Show, Cleveland... December 2 & 3 Christmas Tree decorating, Davis Center, Millcreek Park... Friday, December 4 at 5 PM Be part of the Youngstown Holiday Parade... Thursday, December 10, 2015 Caroling & Partying with Chardon Polka Band... Sunday, December 6, 2015 4 PM Polish Arts Club of Youngstown Wigilia Dinner... Saturday, December 12, 2015 11 AM Polska Kuchina make-and-take Wigilia... Monday, December 14 Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble Kolędy Concert, St. Stanislaw, Cleveland

Do Zobaczenia!
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team