Polish-American Heritage Day to feature dance troupe, food, music, art, culture

Staff report


The ninth annual Polish-American Heritage Day will take place Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 4310 Kirk Road, featuring Polish food, a pirogi-eating contest, art, polka bands and cultural workshops.

Toledo-based folk dance troupe Echoes of Poland will perform at the event, which is sponsored by Polish Youngstown. Admission is $5 (free with a Youngstown State University student ID and for children 12 and under). For information and a complete schedule, go to polish-youngstown.org/polishday.

The day will start with a polka Mass at 11:30 a.m.

Echoes of Poland will perform, for the first time in the Mahoning Valley, at 1:45 and 4 p.m. The troupe showcases dances from more than a dozen regions of Poland.

At 3:30 p.m., the story of what is hailed as the Miracle of Cleveland’s St. Casimir Parish will be told.

In honor of the fifth anniversary of the decrees issued from Rome to reopen 11 closed ethnic Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland, activist Joseph Feckanin will share his parish’s incredible saga. On Nov. 9, 2009, the church was officially closed by Bishop Richard Lennon. That evening, a parishioner had a dream that the Blessed Mother, in the form of Our Lady of Czestochowa, said, “Do not leave me.” This prompted him to initiate the first of what would be more than 139 weekly prayer vigils on the street in front of the padlocked church. Soon they were joined by people of all backgrounds from all over the city with their voices eventually being heard in Rome. Feckanin will retell the story and warn how to protect a parish from a similar fate.

The pirogi-eating contest will begin at 6 p.m.

Open to anyone 18 or older, the goal is to eat the most pirogies in three minutes. Entry fee is $10, with each contestant receiving a T-shirt. Top three winners will receive prizes.

The custom of decorating the eggs is well known, especially in Slavic lands. However, the ancient tradition of authentic nalepianki is rare. Guest artist Bernedette Zubel will creates these unique tiny works of art with layers of precisely cut pieces of flattened straw adhered onto the eggs. Zubel will demonstrate her artistry all day.

The bands include Jimmy K and the Mostly Honky Combo at 1, 3:15, 5:15 and 7 p.m.; and Chardon Polka Band at 2:15, 4:30 and 6 p.m.

The day also will include Polish dance lessons at various times.

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