The Polish Festival will take place from July 14 through 17 at Cheektowaga Town Park, located at 2600 Harlem Road.
The schedule is as follows:Thursday, July 14
7 p.m. Cheektowaga Community Symphony OrchestraFriday, July 15
4:45 and 7:45 p.m. The Buffalo Touch
6:15 and 9:15 p.m. Lenny Gomulka & Chicago PushSaturday, July 16
2:30 and 5:30 p.m. Rare Vintage
4:45 p.m. Mass celebrant and homilist Rev. Louis Klein, pastor of Queen of Martyrs Church, and Deacon Robert Badaszewski, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, with guest choir Quo Vadis, and the honor guard from St. Maximillian Kolbe Assembly Color Corp. No. 1944
6:15 p.m. Cracovia Polish Dance Ensemble
7:15 and 9:15 p.m. Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push
8:15 and 10:30 p.m. Freeze DriedSunday, July 17
1:30 p.m. The General Pulaski Parade. It will start at the Thruway Mall and continue north on Harlem Road, ending at Town Park
3 p.m. Harmony Polish Folk Ensemble
4:15 and 7 p.m. Freeze Dried
5:30 and 8:15 p.m. Bud Hundenski & Corsairs featuring Eddie Biegaj
All performances will take place at the outdoor cultural center in Town Park.
“We have a four-day event to add something different,” said Jackie Schmid, an organizer of the event. “The more we can use Town Park the more people we can get in there. It’s another free event, just like the Crabapple Festival.”
New bands were added this year for a variety including Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push from Ludlow, Massachusetts and Freeze Dried from Plainfield, Illinois.
“Freeze Dried isn’t your mother’s polka band, it is geared toward the younger crowd,” said Schmid. “They turn modern songs into polkas.”
Food will be available all weekend courtesy of Ray’s Catering, Nowak’s Catering and Polish Villa II to eat at the festival, or take out.
Besides music, dancing and Polish food, there is something for everyone’s interest. New this year is Polkalates. It’s an exercise program, inspired by the Polish festivities, that meshes Pilates with polkas. The flier touts getting your dupa in shape and you can do that from 1 to 1:30 p.m. and 2 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16 and from 11 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 17 on the stage at the outdoor cultural center in Town Park. A couple people from the Cheektowaga Youth Engaged in Services (Y.E.S.) brought the idea to the table.
“We’ll try anything once,” said Schmid.
There will also be demonstrations throughout the event, including teaching spectators how to make a pierogi. There will also be Polish themed T-shirts, knickknacks and amber jewelry for sale. E.M. Chrusciki Bakery will also be selling their products at the festival. European Deli will be selling Polish cookies, candies and pickles, marking the first time they will also be at the festival. The beer tent will feature Tyskie beer, which is Polish.
A guide to Cheektowaga’s Polish Festival will also be circulating throughout various businesses prior to the start of the festival so that everyone knows when the bands and various events are taking place. The event book will also feature pictures and the history of the festival. It is free of charge.
“The Polish Festival is really important to keep the Polish heritage alive and pass down the traditions,” said Schmid. “The younger generations need to keep the traditions going. This event is very family friendly. Bring the kids and expose them to the Polish music and foods.”
The event is free.
Coolers are not allowed into the festival.
For more information, visit www.tocny.org.