|If you took advantage of the good weather and enjoyed First Night Youngstown, you got a little taste of how they celebrate Sylwester in Poland. But First Night Event Chair Councilman John Swierz would love to have had the budget of some of the Polish cities. This special night of concerts and fireworks is setting new levels of spending in one of Europe’s only recession-free countries. According to Rzeczpospolita, the 14 biggest cities spent a combined 11 million zlotys ($3.7 million) for New Year’s Eve parties, up from 9 million zlotys last year. The capital, Warsaw, spent 3.8 million zlotys ($1.3 million) by itself! A more accurate comparison for us, however, might be the southern industrial city of Katowice that invited second tier music stars and prepared smaller fireworks. Those festivities only topped out at New Year’s Eve party for 600 thousand zlotys (less than $200,000).|
We’ve got our own celebration coming up this week. For more than two years we have been trying to put it together, but it is finally happening: KULIG, the winter sleigh party celebration enjoyed throughout the Polish countryside this time of year. Horse-drawn sleighs crisscross the snow-covered fields as neighbors host each other with a feast of food, music and drink. The merrymaking continues thru the night as each then joins in the cavalcade to the next estate where it starts over again.
We will do our best to replicate these festivities with
• Carriage rides along the shores of Lake Glacier;
• Live ice carving demonstration by artist Jeff Kaiser on the Visitor’s
• Bonfires by the Seasonal Celebration Plaza Fountain;
• Roasted kielbasa and s’mores in the Old Log Cabin;
• a spread of Polish food prepared by the Georgetown; and the
• Live music, dancing, singing and drinks you have come to love at
Polish Happy Hour!
NOTE: Horses have never been allowed in the park so this carriage ride is an incredibly special opportunity! Prepaid reservations are being taken NOW for the limited number of rides here.
Catching up on stories from December…
The Polish Soldiers serving in Kabul, Afghanistan enjoyed a traditional Wigilia dinner thanks to your efforts. Community Outreach Coordinator Marianne Poprik packed up six boxes full of Polish food, treats, magazines and comfort items AND got it to the troops on time! Special thanks for their necessary financial assistance to the Polish American Congress-Ohio and Union of Poles as well as 7 Roses (Slavic Village), Krakow (Parma) and S&D delis for supplying the contents. In his thank you note General Nasiadka said “it is humbling for me to know that there are Polish Americans around the world that care about the young men and women serving Poland overseas.” Read the full note here.
Before we toasted the New Year we celebrated for auld lang syne with the parishioners of St Stanislaus Kostka and other members of the broader Polish community at the last regularly scheduled Polish liturgy on Sunday, December 26th. The choir performed beautifully and spent some time afterward sharing stories and some tears. The group is scheduled to perform twice monthly at the regular mass. No word yet on whether they will choose to participate.There are voices from within the parish who seemingly resent efforts to keep a Polish mass in the city. William Jones, parish council president, wrote an editorial in the weekend's Vindicator saying that "self-absorbed organizations...have their own agenda...and believe they can be spokespokespersons for our church." Make sure you read his full statement and the comments about the last mass in the online version. Add your own thoughts! Check out the Vindicator story.
Those of you who follow us on Facebook know that we became kolendnicy during that holiday week, too. What a great time going door to door surprising folks with a little concert. The last house was roused out of bed to host us at 12:30 AM! Maybe next year you’ll invite us to your house…Friend PolishYoungstown’s page so you can keep up with events as they are happening. Check out all the pictures here.
Sto Lat! to our friend Pittsburgh Szopka Artist Dave Motak. You’ll remember we mentioned last month that Motak was the first foreigner invited to enter a szopka (“shop-kah”) or Kraków crèchein the 68th Szopka Competition held annually in Kraków . Well he made us proud, earning an Honorable Mention for Artistic Merit in the category Medium-Sized Szopki for his creation entitled "From Pittsburgh to Kraków ," as a tribute to his many szopka students. We hope to host a class in Youngstown very soon! Learn more about it and his experience at his website.
Speaking of learning new things, there is still time to start the New Year right! There is still time to sign up to join us on Tuesday evenings for our Polish Language and Culture Classes. Classes resume on Tuesday Jan. 11th and our instructors made it workable for students of every level. Contact our Polish Language leaders Marta Mazur for more info at 330-261-4263.
Want to get more involved? We have a load of things on our list of resolutions and we could use your help! Everything from one day with a truck to jumping on board with both feet and joining the PYTown Team would be welcomed. We are particularly looking for someone with teaching experience to help us with our education programs and a savvy money handler to help us with our books. Please contact us at email@example.com if you can help.
Mark your calendars: January 15th Deadline to apply to participate in The Kosciuszko Foundation’sArts Enriched English Camp in Poland this July…Jan 17th Festival of Nations, Akron Civic Center with Krakowiaki performing… January 30thDeadline to apply for Polish Arts Club of Youngstown scholarships…This monthDebutantes are being sought for the annual Kosciuszko Foundation's Annual Dinner and Ball in NYC You may think the deb thing is old fashioned but this year’s honored guest is Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski!!
Coming soon: News about Ostatki February 26th, Paczki Ball at Kuzmans, Paczki Trip to Hamtramck, MI, Krakowiaki’sSwieconka celebration and Dyngus Day!
From Your PolishYoungstown Team