After a winter with one of the heaviest snowfalls on record and a seemingly endlessly rainy spring, we share the joy with our friends in Poland as they schedule time this month to celebrate majówka. Hungry for interaction with other people, sun and contact with nature, Poles head out to enjoy the first picnic of the year. Travel agents are jumping on the idea and encouraging the start of a tradition of enjoying a long weekend this month. There are great deals on excursions to the mountains, the sea or the even the city. Hits each season are picnics in Zakopane, Krakow and Wroclaw. Equally popular are the capitals of their closest neighbors such as Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Vilnius, Lviv, Copenhagen and Berlin. There winter-weary Poles can combine relaxing picnics in the city with sightseeing and shopping. The more affluent even chose to picnic in Paris, Rome or Venice.
Start your own majówka tradition! Since we heard about this concept as a vocabulary word in Tuesday night Polish language class, I have wanted to celebrate it but the weather hasn't cooperated. Millcreek Metro Parks seems to be an ideal location....there is event talk that this will be PolishYoungstown's first flash mob event...make sure you are signed up for our Facebook and Twitter account so you don't miss out.
In honor of this outdoor holiday, Polish Happy Hour's nopnprofit partner this month is Grow Youngstown. This group focuses on inner city gardens, community supported agriculture, i.e. farm shares and sustainability, among other things. Come learn about what they do and meet some of these cool to mix and mingle and welcome this group as we help their cause while enjoying Polish culture! Join us Thursday, May 12th 5:30- 9 PM as Ken takes us back to one of our favorite venues, Vintage Estates Wine and Beer, located at 7317 South Avenue, just south of Route 224. You have to taste the special Bukiet Maja Sobieski (May Bouquet Cocktail)! Typical of Owner Phil Reda's laid back nature, it is sort of a Do-It-Yourself special! VE has expanded once more, and the atmosphere should be great! There are more tables and seating inside and also a beautiful, enlarged covered patio outside. Hopefully, the weather will be great and we will be able to enjoy the patio along with the great selection of Polish beer which VE always provides for our pleasure.
Even though he is putting in more than 60 hours a week as interim executive AND artistic director at Ballet Western Reserve, Staś Kmieć is finding time to evangelize for all things Polish in the community and at BWR. He has made sure there is two very different styles of Polish folk dance showing up in both the BWR Gala this weekend and the Akiva Academy program next week. Learn more about him and the shows here.
If you interests run more to film than dance, it might be time for a trip to Pittsburgh. The Polish Cultural Council has invited us to join them for their screening and Meet the Director reception of the recently released documentary, The Officer's Wife on May 20th at 7:30 pm in the Melwood Screening Room. This English language fiilm follows a young man's disturbing discovery of his families involvment in the Katyn Forest massacre. The opportunity to discuss this story of of truth, justice, and memory with director Piotr Uzarowicz is a unique and surely valuable one. Tickets are $15 (410 for students). For more information call 412-681-5449.
Contact your Congressional Reps
For too long, the United States has treated our friends and families in Poland as second class citizens requiring them to pay hefty fees to apply for visas to visit this country, while Europeans from other countries travel here without visas. There is a bill in Congress that would change that. But it will only become law if you and your friends call and write to your Senators and Representatives. Learn more about the bill, get the contact info for your representative and even a mock up letter here.
Saving the best for last...
I feel like we should have a drum roll here...Town One Streetscapes and PolishYoungstown are pleased to announce that they have come to an agreement that will bring the Polish War Veteran's monument to Peterson Park in Poland, Ohio! The magnificent granite memorial is dedicated to Polish émigré veterans of World Wars I and II. It was erected at its current location on South Avenue in 1970 by the Youngstown chapter of the Polish Army War Veterans of America. That group is now defunct and the former Krakusy Hall building has been vacant for several years. O.T. Beight Monument picked up the monument today and transferred into their North Lima headquarters while the base in Peterson Park is completed. "We're happy that this striking monument has found a home worthy of its heritage," says Larry Warren, Town One Streetscapes president, adding that the groups have been working with several veterans' organizations to facilitate the move for nearly a year. "The monument honors the courage of patriots and a patriot's struggle to be free transcends national, cultural and territorial bounds.” Learn more here. Congratulations go out to Lisa Skomra Lotze, PolishYoungstown Monument Chair for all her hard work and dedication to this project!
COMING UP: May 21st PNA District Debutante & Squire Ball, Cleveland...May 27-29 United States Polka Association Annual Convention, Cleveland...June 1st Polonia Foundation of Ohio scholarship applications due... June 4-5 St. Joseph the Provider Fesitval, Campbell...June 18th Simply Slavic...June 25th Veteran's Monument Dedication in Peterson Park, Poland...Aug. 28th Polish Day 2011.
Your PolishYoungstown Team