CAMPBELL Descendant of Poles heads Irish festival

This Valley transplant now runs one of the largest Irish fests in the country.
CAMPBELL -- Sandra Puskarcik knows a thing or two about culture.
Reared in a Polish family here, she developed an appreciation for various ethnicities.
As the community relations director for the city of Dublin, just north of Columbus, she's working to make this weekend's Dublin Irish Festival a unique experience for all who attend.
"Our goal is to be a premier festival that will attract anyone who's interested, expose them to something Irish and help them learn to appreciate Irish culture," said Puskarcik, a '76 graduate of Ohio State University.
The festival starts at 5 p.m. today and runs through 9 p.m. Sunday. Puskarcik said it is the second-largest Irish fest in the nation, and she expects about 80,000 people to attend over the weekend.
Recipe for success
The support from the community, which includes more than 1,300 volunteers, and the people who attend are what make the event so successful, said Puskarcik.
Features include six entertainment stages, Irish dancers and performers, a children's area, a variety of vendors and even a 5K run.
Although the festival attracts attendees all the way from Ireland, it's not just for the Irish. "All ethnicities attend," Puskarcik said. "The Irish fest is for all to enjoy, not just the Irish. & quot;
Meeting those people has been the most valuable experience for Puskarcik, who said she finds it funny that a Polish girl from Campbell is doing an Irish festival in Dublin. But differences are not a bad thing to her.
"We always can find something in common to equate to similarities."

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