Events lined up in Mohawk Valley for Polish American Heritage Month
As October is Polish American Heritage Month and several events are being organized in the Mohawk Valley to draw attention to the occasion, including a few that will occur before the nationally observed month to commemorate Polish American history.
The events seek to celebrate the continued influence of Polish Americans and Polish culture from the first documented arrival of Polish settlers in Jamestown, Virginia in 1608, through today.
The festivities will begin with the local Polish community gathering for an annual ceremony in honor of General Casimir Pulaski at his statue located at the corner of the Memorial Parkway and Oneida Street in Utica at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25.
Pulaski is remembered as a hero who fought for independence and freedom both in Poland and the United States.
On Friday, Sept. 30, at Utica City Hall, the official Polish flag-raising ceremony will begin at noon in recognition of Polish American Heritage month. Following the ceremony, the public is invited to a complimentary brunch at the Polish Community Club, 810 Columbia St.
“My concern for Polish Heritage month is for recognition of our ancestry and history to be passed on to future generations,” said Daniel Jadlowski, a second-generation Polish American who’s active in several Polish organizations in the area. The 77-year-old living in Whitesboro comes from four Poland-born grandparents — relatives he knows little about due to the destruction of records during WWI.
During a brief visit to Poland in 1995 to teach conversational English, he said he felt a connection. “Having witnessed the conditions of Poland and the work ethic of the citizens, understanding of my history and cultural heritage grew exponentially. No history books could teach me what I witnessed in that month,” he shared.
“Upon my return to Utica I wanted to learn, do, and help any local Polish organization in the area,” he said. This resulted in his membership to the Polish Community Club, Kopernik Memorial Association, and the Pulaski Association, where he is now a participating member, in charge of correspondence, and vice president, respectively..
During October, citizens are encouraged to visit the Polish Community Club cultural and history center. In addition, a display of Polish artifacts will be showcased at the Dunham Public Library in Whitesboro throughout the month, where historical books will also be available for takeout.
A Szupka presentation will be put on with help from Notre Dame High School students. The presentation involves crafts and a puppet show in recognition of Christmas Eve. The date and time are not yet known.
A special open house will be held by the Kopernik Memorial Association (KMA) on the second floor of the Polish Community Club on Sunday, Oct. 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. Visitors can see costumed actors in 17th century costumes of the Polish nobility and original and current uniform of Holy Trinity’s St. Michael’s Lancers, and get a chance to win a Boleslawiec Polish pottery mug.
Guests can also participate in a raffle to win a 30-inch hand-painted Nativity Christmas tree.
Scheduled events at the open house are as follows:
- 1-1:15 p.m.: Welcome and refreshments
- 1:15 p.m.: Storybook and craft “The Wawel Dragon” with Mary Currie. Register by calling (315) 941-0551
- 1:15-1:45 p.m.: Presentation on Szymañski tapestries
- 1:50 p.m.: Polish folk tales and their moral lessons with Val Elacqua
- 2 p.m.: The making of Holy Trinity’s stained glass windows with John Dwyer
- 2:30 p.m.: Theatrical presentation, “Smok the Wawel Dragon”
On Sunday, Oct. 23, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., the movie “The Siege of Vienna, Sept. 11, 1683” will play at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in the Marian room, 1206 Lincoln Ave, Utica.
The KMA will hold a meeting on Monday, Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. at the Polish Community Center.
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